Muhammed Ahamed Ibrahim Ahamedmale and Hassan Shaaban were arrested on August 28 and arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Lamin Mbaye Snr on a count of ‘fishing with prohibited fishing gears”. According to the police prosecutors, on 28 August at about 6:30 pm, the two men were found on a fishing trawler, fishing in Gambian territorial waters at latitude 13 34. 63N, longitude 016 33.91 W, with a prohibited fishing net which is less than 50 millimeter mesh size. They pleaded not guilty.
“Considering the nature of the offence and the fact that they are non-Gambians, I grant them bail in the sum of D1 million each or two sureties with a valid Gambian ID card,” Magistrate Mbaye said. He also ordered that the accused surrender their passports and their vessel keys to the registrar of the court before they would be released on bail.
His decision to release the two men on bail came after the lawyer for the accused persons, Mustapha Marong, urged the court to free them on bail. “They have Gambians who are ready and willing to stand for them as sureties. They are non-Gambian citizens but they have their boats within the territory of The Gambia which is good reason for them not to escape the jurisdiction of this court. The fine and punishment of this offence is less than a million dalasis and the fishing vessels are more than one million dalasis. They have no reason to run away,” Marong said adding that the offence does not carry a life imprisonment or the death sentence. “The offence is not a serious one.”
The police prosecutor, Supt Sainey Joof, did not object to the bail application but urged the court to consider that the two men are non-Gambians. The matter was adjourned to September 15.]]>