Non Filing of Indictment Delays 9 Fisheries Officials Trial

By Rohey Jadama

The trial involving 9 fisheries  officials charged with  11 criminal counts did not proceed before Justice Ateh  Abi of the Banjul high court yesterday, Thursday 25th  June 2015, as the prosecution asked for an adjournment again to enable them file a new indictment .

The accused persons are Amadou Saine, former Permanent Secretary, Nfamara Dampha, former Director of Fisheries, Famara Darboe, former acting Director of Fisheries, Dr.Bamba Banja, former Permanent Secretary, Kebba Konjira, Joseph Gabiddon, Musa Jawla, Abdoulie Njie and Momodou Njie.

When the case was called, state counsel Olimatou  Danso told the court that  they did not still  file a bill of indictment because they are yet to receive anything from the investigators to prepare their indictment.

Prosecutor Danso applied for an adjournment to enable them file the indictment.

Lamin S. Camara and Sheriff M. Tambedou did not object to the application of the prosecution.

However, Hawa Sisay-Sabally said the state should be on record for the last time because if they come on the next adjourned date and failed to file the indictment, then the accused persons should be left to satisfy their bail since they are on bail until when the state is ready to file the new bill of indictment rather than coming all the time.

The presiding judge said the last time when the accused persons were before him, the state said they intend to withdraw charges against certain accused persons and that at the last sitting the prosecution asked for two weeks to file indictment which was granted.

justice Abi added that the court will not entertain adjournment on no good grounds again.

The case was adjourned to 2nd July, 2015 at 1pm.

It could be recall that the DPP said   at the last sitting that due to some developments and investigations going on regarding the case, they could not file a new bill of indictment yet. He told the court that he   needed two weeks to file a new indictment which was granted to him.

The DPP   again on the 2nd June  told the court that only three people will be charged in the new bill of indictment of the former fisheries officials facing trial.

However, he did not disclose the names of the three concerned former fisheries officials but added that investigations are ongoing.