By Bruce Asemota in Janjanbureh
The Janjangbureh high court yesterday discharged five of the people charged in the wake of the caste dispute that rocked Koina and some parts of the URR.
Those set free are Muhammed Sanneh, Jariga Camara, Bangally Kanuteh, Ebrima Gumaneh and Musa Kanuteh .
The court also granted bail to the following 17 persons: Hajjie Jabbi, Ousman Gumaneh, Musa Kumba Leman Kanuteh, Essa Gumbally, Bangally Gumaneh, Essa Jarra, Dawda Gumbally, Bangally Jawara, Bahoreh Gumaneh, Banta Gumaneh, Abdou Gumaneh, Momodou Lamin Gumaneh, Saikou Leman Gumaneh, Dawda Touray, Karaba Sissokho and Bakary Juwara.
Each was granted bail in the sum of fifty-thousand dalasi (D50,000) with one Gambian surety.
The accused persons were also ordered to deposit their ID Cards with the Registrar of the Court and warned not to leave the country pending the determination of the case.
They were further bound to keep the peace and to report to Basse Police Station every Monday.
Addressing the court, Justice Ebrima Jaiteh said the fundamental hallmark of the criminal justice system is that an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
He indicated that the prosecution did not provide enough evidence that the accused persons would jump bail, adding that the nature of the charge must be considered.
Justice Jaiteh further said that the accused persons are charged with arson which is punishable by life imprisonment whilst citing defence counsel L. S. Camara’s submission which drew the court’s attention to section 29 of the Criminal Code which stipulates that the court can sentence a convict to a lesser sentence.
The matter is adjourned to 28th October, 2019 at the Basse High Court.
The accused persons are standing trial on four counts of conspiracy, willful and unlawful damage of property, arson and assault causing actual bodily harm.