By Binta A Bah
Five suspects currently remanded at the Mile 2 Central Prisons on charges of murder, arson and rape have filed a bail application before the High Court in Bundung months after their remand.
Mario Mendy, Alagie Senghore, Baba Darboe, Mustapha Jobe and Muhammed Lamin Bangura, in a petition filed separately before the court, said their arrest and continued detention for months without trial is in violation of their constitutional rights and freedom.
The applicants were remanded by different magistrate courts that have no jurisdiction to hear the capital offences they were arraigned for. No formal charges have been brought against them since their remand.
According to their lawyer, Kemo Ceesay, some of the applicants have been ‘languishing’ in remand since December. Pointing at Mario Mendy who was standing in the dock, he said: “He is accused and nothing has been done about his accusation since he was remanded.”
Despite his plea for the court to hear his clients’ application when the matter was called, the judge Momodou S.M Jallow said it wouldn’t be fair to proceed without the state being represented. “One more day in remand is not going to affect them,” he said, noting that there are offences that are not bailable. He gave examples of cases where he had granted bail and was overturned by the Court of Appeal in Banjul.
Meanwhile, Justice Jallow has ordered that the state counsel be notified and he is expected to hear all five cases today.