Ya Binta Jarju: Absence of magistrate hinders driver’s trial from proceeding

By Kebba Jeffang
Absence of the trial magistrate hinders the trial of Mustapha Njie, theBinta Jarju
driver of the taxi vehicle in which Ya Binta Jarju was shot dead by members of a joint security forces on patrol in Manjai, from
proceeding yesterday, Tuesday, 14 April, at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.It was disclosed that the trial magistrate, Patrick Gomez, is out of
the jurisdiction.
The case was consequently adjourned with the consent of both parties
to Thursday, 16th April, 2015 at 2.30 pm.
The prosecution has closed its case after calling six witnesses to
testify, almost a fortnight ago. Those who testified were Sulayman
Bah, the male friend who accompanied the late Ya Binta Jarju on that
fateful night, Fulo Mbye, the Officer Commanding (OC) Serekunda
Division, Lance corporal Abdoulie Badjie and Landing Jarju, both from
the State Guards Battalion and Baba Leigh Jallow of the Police
Intervention Unit (PIU), the three in the patrol team which released
the shot that killed Ya Binta, and Corporal Momodou Sowe, a police
investigator.
Mr. Njie, the accused person, is facing trial on two counts i.e.
‘Disobedience to a lawful order,’ and ‘Rash and Negligent Act Causing
Death’ and to which he pleaded not guilty.
However, he had earlier pleaded guilty to two other charges namely
‘Unlicensed Driving’ and “Failing to stop when required” and was
accordingly sentenced on count one to a fine of Four thousand Dalasi
(D4,000) or in default to serve three years imprisonment and on count
four One thousand Dalasi (D1,000) or in default to serve one year
imprisonment.