Farato Protesters Appear In Court

By Yankuba Jallow

The trial of ten accused persons on eleven Criminal Charges began at the High Court in Banjul on Monday, October 9th 2017.

The accused persons are charged in relation to the violence that erupted in Farato village, Kombo South District in the West Coast Region, on the 23rd of May 2017.

The accused persons namely Alhagie Dulo M.H. Sambou, Kebbah Drammeh, Alhagie Imam Ousman Ceesay, Alhagie Jobe, Alieu Touray, Bakary Manneh, Alieu Faal Junior, Sainey Bayo, Alieu Faal and Ebrima Secka, faced criminal charges at the Lower Court in Brikama, but the case is now transferred to the High Court in Banjul, for lack of jurisdiction to hear the matter in Brikama.

On count 1, the alleged protesters are charged for incitement to violence contrary to section 59 B (b) of the Criminal Code (CC), by allegedly chanting abusive slogans and pelting missiles on Government officials, calculated to lead to the destruction or damage of properties.

On count 2, the 10 accused persons are charged with unlawful assembly contrary to section 69 and punishable under section 70 of the CC, by allegedly  assembling with intent to cause destruction and obstruction of Government officials from carrying their duty.

They are further charged on count 3, with riot contrary to section 69 and punishable under section 71 of the CC as they riotously assembled and caused the breach of peace and terror to the public, by chanting, pelting missiles and obstructing Government officials from carrying their duties.

On count 4, the ten accused persons are charged with damaging machinery contrary to section 77 of the CC in which they riotously assembled and unlawfully damaged a bulldozer.

On count 5, they are charged with malicious damage to property contrary to section 312(1) of the CC in which they are alleged to have willfully and unlawfully destroyed a bulldozer by setting it on fire.

On count 6, they are also charged with malicious damage to properties contrary to section 312(1) of CC. Under this count, the accused persons are alleged to willfully and unlawfully destroy a Mercedes Benz car belonging to one Sarja Gibba, by setting it on fire.

On count 7, the accused persons are charged with malicious damage to property contrary to section 312(1) of the CC. Under this count, the accused persons on the month of May at Farato, willfully and unlawfully destroyed sets of furniture by setting them on fire.

On Count 8, they are charged with assault contrary to section 230 (b) of the CC in which they are alleged to have assaulted police officers while duly executing their duties.

On count 9, they are alleged of conspiracy to commit misdemeanor contrary to section 369 of the CC in which they are alleged to commit an offence to wit conspire to riotously assemble.

On count 10, they are charged with conspiracy to commit felony contrary to section 368 of the CC and they are alleged under this count, to have committed an offence to wit conspire to unlawfully damage a bulldozer engaged for a demolition exercise, by setting it on fire.

On the final count which is count 11, the ten alleged protesters are charged with conspiracy to commit felony contrary to section 368 of the CC in which they are alleged to have committed an offence wit conspire to unlawfully destroy a Mercedes Benz car belonging to Sarja Gibba, by setting it on fire.

The charge sheet was served to the accused persons in court and the presiding Judge, Justice B. Mahoney, adjourned the case to Thursday October 19th  2017 at 2pm for mention, and also to give the accused persons the chance to consult their Lawyer.