By Mamadou Dem
The former deputy director of operations of the National Intelligence Agency, Buba Beyai, was on Tuesday, 9th September, 2014 arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court charged with ‘Publication of False News,” contrary to the laws of the Gambia.
According to the particulars of offence, Mr. Beyai, on or about the 19th day of April, 2014 in Banjul negligently published to one Bakary Dahaba through a telephone call that the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has been dismissed from his position, information he knew to be false and thereby committed an offence. He pleaded not guilty as charged.
Upon application for bail by the accused person and objected to by the State, Magistrate Nyima Samateh, in her ruling, said the charged preferred against the accused is a bailable offence. She subsequently granted the accused bail in the sum of D300,000 and ordered him to produce two Gambian sureties who must enter into recognisance in the like sum and to deposit their national identity cards with the Registrar of the Court.
The trial Magistrate further ordered the accused to surrender all his travelling documents with the same Registrar of the Court pending the determination of the case.
State Counsel, Abdourahman Bah applied for an adjournment to enable the state to commence hearing in the matter. “We are applying for the accused to be remanded. I believe the accused is bound to apply for bail,” he admitted.
The accused who was not represented by counsel submitted that he is a family man feeding seventeen people, adding that he is a Gambian and has been working for eighteen years and five years of which was with the National Intelligence Agency. “I was dismissed,” he told the Court.
“I’m appealing to the court to exercise mercy and grant me bail,” pleaded the former NIA deputy director.
At this juncture, Mr. Bah, the State counsel, stood up and objected to the application made by the accused person on the grounds that the accused prior to his dismissal was handling the portfolio mentioned above at the NIA and as such, he has the opportunity to interfere with vital prosecution witnesses whom, he added, are intelligence officers and were juniors to the accused person.
“Besides, bail is at the discretion of the Court which should be exercised judicially and judiciously, taking into account the principles initiated by the Court in granting bail,” he submitted.
The State counsel argued that it is the duty of the accused person to place sufficient facts to be granted bail.
Delivering the ruling, Magistrate Nyima Samateh said “Having heard the submissions of counsel for the state as well as the accused, I must state that bail is at the discretion of the Court and same should be exercise judicially and judiciously.”
The trial Magistrate further said that since the offence preferred against the accused person is a bailable offence, the court shall exercise its discretion to grant bail to the accused person on the conditions mentioned above.
The case is scheduled for hearing on the 18 September, 2014.