Taranga FM Manager Denied Bail Again

By Rohey Jadama

The Managing Director of Taranga Fm Radio Station, Mr. Abdoulie Ceesay, was again denied bail for the second time by Justice Alhaji Abdoulie Ceesay, Manager Teranga FMSimeon Ateh Abi of the High Court in Banjul yesterday, 8 February, 2016.

This is the fourth time that the ailing journalist has been denied bail. Principal Magistrate Momodou S.M. Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court and Justice Balarabe of the High Court rejected the first and second bail applications respectively. The third and fourth were denied by Justice Abi of the Banjul High court.

Mr. Ceesay was indicted on 6 counts of ‘Sedition’ and 1 count of ‘Publication of false news’. He, however, denied all the charges preferred against him.

Hadi Saleh Barkun, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), appeared for the state, whilst Lawyer Combeh Gaye-Coker announced her representation for the applicant.

When the case was called, Justice Abi started by saying that he was misquoted by the media during the last court proceedings. He said a certain media house said he chose not to sit. He asked whether the media should determine when he should sit or not.

The trial judge said he does not want a situation where he would be entangled in a battle with the press i.e. those media houses covering the court proceedings.

Delivering a lengthy bail ruling, Justice Abi said he had carefully read the affidavit in support of the applicant’s bail application.

He said Mrs. Gaye Coker in her bail application told the court that she has applied for a medical report from Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital since the 18th of January2016 and exhibited it in the affidavit of reply as exhibit OJ 3.

He said the defence counsel further told the court that ill health is a very important factor and change in circumstance and that this factor was never an issue in the previous bail application.

The trial judge added that he is not convinced about the change of circumstance submitted by the defence counsel in her bail application and is therefore refusing bail for the applicant.

At this juncture, Lawyer Gaye Coker told the court that she had   filed the ‘no case to answer’ and that the DPP has been served with a copy.

The DPP was thus ordered by the court to file his reply on the ‘no case to answer’ on Thursday 10 February and for the defence counsel to also reply to it on points of law.

Subsequently, the case was adjourned to 16 February, 2016 at 4pm for ruling on the ‘no case to answer submission.