Tahar Haouari yesterday pleaded not guilty of economic crime, conspiracy to commit felony and stealing at the High Court in Banjul.
Denying the allegations, Mr Tahar burst into tears in a packed courtroom. “The only mistake I have committed is that the machine was found in my hotel. I have been in custody for more than one month and I want to see my children,” he plaintively pleaded.
According to the indictments, Mr Haouri caused economic loss to Gamtel to the amonut of D611,340.03 by installing a giant simbox which he used to divert international calls from Gamtel international gateway, an act detrimental to the economy of The Gambia.
The accused, charged with two o for thers (who are at large) is also accused of obtaining the sum of D115,677 from QCell Company Limited by installing a simbox.
Meanwhile, the director of public prosecution, SH Barkun said the state will not object to a bail for the arraigned Algerian. His lawyer, Kebba Sanyang, is expected to apply for Mr Haouari to be released on bail when the case resumes on June 16.
In a separate development, another man accused of a similar offence was sentenced by a high court judge after pleading guilty at the High Court in Banjul.
Momodou Lamin Jeng was sentenced to four years in prison with hard labour if he fails to pay a fine of 30,000. His sentence came after he admitted a charge of conspiracy to commit felony. The prosecutor accused him of conspiring with Abdirahman Osman and Muhammed Abdullahi (now at large) to cause economic loss to Gamtel by installing a giant simbox in order to divert international calls from Gamtel international gateway.
By Binta Bah]]>