24 C
City of Banjul
Sunday, September 27, 2020

Badjie bailed, slammed with 2 more charges

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Prosecutors said Badjie failed to pursue money being paid to Faisal Bojang, former Gambian financial attaché at the Gambia Embassy in Paris.

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Ousman Badjie who was charged with one count of economic crime and two counts of neglect of official duty, all relating to D1, 134,000 stolen by Faisal Bojang is now facing five charges. 

Badjie, a father of four is accused of negligently causing 34,333 Euros loss to the government of The Gambia being revenue collected but not deposited by Faisal Bojang.

On the other economic crime charge, Badjie is accused of causing economic loss to the government of The Gambia in the amount of 27, 500 euros being monies paid by Société Générale Agence Centrale on Haussmann Boulevard in Paris without authorisation to Faisal Bojang.

He is further accused of neglecting his duty as the then head of mission to purse the police declaration that Mr Bojang’s signature was forged.

Mr Badjie is yet to react to the charges preferred against him as it was not read out to him when arraigned at the high court yesterday afternoon. The chief prosecutor, Saleh Barkun said the indictments have been sent to the Office of Chief Justice but he did not know which judge will preside over the case. Badjie is expected to take his plea on Monday.

Meanwhile, Mr Badjie was granted bail in the sum of D10 million with two Gambian sureties in the sum of D5 million each. The judge, Simon Abi said the sureties should be owners of a property within the Greater Banjul Area of a value not less than D5 million. He said the title deeds should be verified by the high court registrar before Mr Badjie could be released from custody.

Justice Abi also ordered Mr Badjie to surrender his travelling documents and should also report to the Brusubi police station twice every week until the final determination of the case.

Badjie’s release on bail came after his lawyer, Lamin Camara urged the court to free him on bail pending his arraignment at the high court.  The chief prosecutor opposed bail and alleged there was a strong evidence against him and additional charges could be brought against him.

Delivering the ruling, the judge said the court cannot speculate if additional charges will be brought against Mr Badjie. “The state is at liberty to file a charge against any person suspected of having committed an offence. I have not come across any authority which says a person who is on bail cannot be arraigned on another charge if he is found to have committed an offence other than that on which he is standing trial and on bail.

“The state did not dispute the fact that the applicant is a family man with four children as alleged and the state has not given any reason why they suppose that the applicant will jump bail except for the ‘severity” of the charge and punishment. In my view, the fear of jumping bail in this case is unfounded. The law is that the main function of bail is to ensure the presence of the accused at the trial,” he said before releasing Mr Badjie on bail.

Meanwhile, Mr Badjie was taken back to Mile 2 central prison by prison wardens.

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