Ex-Justice Minister Jorbateh Appears at High Court

By Rohey Jadama
Lamin AMS Jorbateh, the jailed former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, who Lamin AMS Jobartehis faced with eleven counts of “Economic Crime, giving False Information to a public officer, forcible entry and operating business without licence” yesterday 2nd February appeared at the Banjul High Court.
The case which is before Justice Simon A. Abi of the Banjul High Court, did not proceed because the judge did not sit yesterday.Mr. Jobarteh was convicted twice by the Special Criminal Division of the High Court in Banjul presided over by Justice Emmanuel Nkea.
Lamin AMS Jobarteh was accused on count one that on 2 February 2013, at Bijilo, within the jurisdiction of the court, being the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, in abuse of the authority of his office, ordered, directed and personally assisted in the arrest and detention of Alieu Barry and Bernd George Diedrich.
On count two, the prosecution alleges that, Mr. Jobarteh  on 2 February 2013, at Bijilo, within the jurisdiction of the court, wrongfully retook possession of the land from Bernd George Diedrich in favour of one Mr. Sowe, possession of which land Mr. Diedrich had obtained by writ of court.
On count three, State prosecutors also alleged that Lamin AMS Jobarteh on 2 February 2013, at Bijilo, within the jurisdiction of the court, willfully and or reckless caused the monetary loss to the Gambia Revenue Authority, a public body by constituting a taskforce which re-assessed and review downwards the tax liabilities of several tax defaulters as found by the Tax Commission.
According to Count four, Jobarteh between 2 February and April 2013, at Banjul, within the jurisdiction of the court, informed the Office of the President that over D200 million had been recovered from the tax defaulters and deposited in the GRA recovery account with the GTBank, knowing such information to be false.
Count five alleged that Lamin AMS Jobarteh between July 2012 and May 2013, at Banjul, within the jurisdiction of the court, informed the commissioner general, Gambia Revenue Authority that there was cabinet approval to establish a taskforce to re-assess the tax liabilities of defaulters as shown in the Tax Commission report, knowing such information to be false.
It was also alleged on count six that Lamin AMS Jobarteh in 2011, at Tubanding village, Upper Fulladu West, Central River Region, within the jurisdiction of the court, being a judge of the High Court, in abuse of the authority of his office, ordered and directed the arrest and detention of Mustapha Kanyi and Yarro Jamanka, at Bansang Police Station.
The State prosecutor stated that Lamin AMS Jobarteh between 2009 and 2011, at Tubanding village, Upper Fulladu West, Central River Region, within the jurisdiction of the court, in order to take possession of lands not given to him, entered upon such lands in Tubanding village by threats and fencing beyond the area given to him.
On Count eight, Prosecutors alleged that Lamin AMS Jobarteh, between 2010 and 2013, at Bansang, within the jurisdiction of the court, being a Gambian citizen, breached the provisions of the Licence Act by failing to register his lodge as required by the law for the purposes of taxation, thereby causing financial loss to the Tourism Board and the Gambia Revenue Authority.
It was further alleged on count nine that Lamin AMS Jobarteh, between 2010 and 2013, at Bansang, within the jurisdiction of the court, operated “Amie Lodge” or “Jobarth’s Lodge”, a lodge of 18 rooms without a licence.
Jobarteh was also accused on count ten that some time in April 2013, at Bansang, within the jurisdiction of the court, in abuse of the authority of his office, arbitrarily ordered and directed the relocation of the NAWEC public tap at the Bansang Village Bantaba.
Count eleven states that Jobarteh, in April 2013, at Bansang, within the jurisdiction of the court, in order to take possession of community lands within the Bansang Village Bantaba, ordered the relocation of the NAWEC public tap and entered upon such lands in Bansang village by threats and commenced developments thereon.