Gambia: High Court to Hear Baba Darboe's Arson Case

A trial magistrate in Brikama has transferred the arson case involving one Baba Darboe to the High Court for lack of jurisdiction.

Darboe is accused of setting the house of one Yaya Sanyang on fire on the 22ndNovember 2020 at Daru Hairu in the West Coast Region.

Darboe is charged with arson contrary to section 305 of the Criminal Code. According to the particulars of offence, Darboe wilfully and unlawfully set fire to the dwelling house of one Yaya Sanyang, thereby committed an offence.

Police prosecutor 4906 Bangoura said Arson attracts life imprisonment punishment.

When the charge was read to the accused person, Magistrate Sainey Joof transferred the case to the high court because the subordinate court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.

The matter was transferred pursuant to section 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code which provides that the court shall not derogate from any law which confers jurisdiction on another court or class of court. Legal Notice number 3 of 2009 issued a practice directive made under section 143 (1) of the Constitution establishing the Special Criminal Division of the high court to deal exclusively with offences that attract life imprisonment or death sentence. Additionally, sections 208A and 62 of the Criminal Procedure Code have outlined these issues. The case was accordingly transferred and the accused person was remanded pending his appearance before the high court.

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