Court refuses application of defence in Borry Saidy’s trial

By Kebba Jeffang
Magistrate Omar Cham of the Brikama Magistrate’s Court yesterday, 5
March, refused to grant the application submitted by defencecounsel in the false information trial of Borry J. Saidy on the
grounds that the application is premature in the absence of the
purported letter sent to the office of the President.
The ruling came after Borry S. Touray, counsel for the accused,
submitted that the charge against his client is incompetent
because the information on it states that it was sent to the office of
the president and that the president is not a public servant and
therefore should be dismissed.
He cited section 166 of the 1997 Constitution as well as the Public
Service Act to support his argument.
The police prosecutor, Chief Inspector Fadera, for his part, counter
argued that the president is a public officer as he was voted into
office by the people. He also cited the constitution.
When the case was called, Police CI Fadera announced his
representation for the prosecution, while Lawyer Touray, representing
the accused, was said to be bereaved and not in court.
In his ruling on the matter, Magistrate Cham said he has heard both
sides well. He said the arguments on whether the president is or is
not a public servant by the defence and the prosecution is premature
because there is no letter before the court.
“It is my opinion that the office of the President is a whole
institution that may not or may contain civil/public servants who are
within the contemplations of section 166 and unless the court sees the
purported letter written to the Office of the President to ascertain
the addressee(s) of that letter, it cannot entertain the arguments
before it. The application is premature in the absence of the letter
and is therefore refused,” Magistrate Cham.
At this stage, the accused person said he has the purported letter with him.
The trial magistrate told him to pass the letter to the court through
his counsel.
The matter was adjourned to 12th March, 2015 at 2.30 pm.
The accused person is the acting manager of
Air Traffic Services at the Banjul International Airport. He was
accused of writing to the Office of the President claiming an unfair
treatment which information he knew or believed to be false and had
thereby committed an offence.
He was granted court bail on condition that he produces 3 sureties who should sign a bond of D200.000 together with their ID
Cards.