Lang Conteh yesterday appeared before the magistrates court in Banjul on a single charge of theft. He is accused of stealing D1,538, 804.95, the property of Kanilai Family Farm. He pleaded not guilty.
However, the request to release Mr Conteh on bail was denied by the presiding magistrate and he ordered him remanded at the state central prisons at Mile 2 after the police prosecutor said he would likely jump bail if released on bail.
“The investigation is not complete and file is not yet handed to the police. It is feared that the accused will abscond according to the investigators. He is a very influential person and we believe he will interfere with the witnesses,” Sergeant Alpha Badjie told the court.
In securing bail for the accused, Lamin Mboge told the court that his client has landed properties which are “more than enough” to guarantee him before the court. “The accused has reliable Gambians who are ready, willing and able to stand as sureties for him. The accused has been in custody since the 9th of January, almost seven months,” Mboge pleaded, adding that the accused was entitled to bail in accordance with the law.
But, the presiding magistrate, Hillary Abeke ruled that the defence counsel did not challenge the prosecutor’s comments that the accused will jump bail and will also interfere with witnesses. “For not satisfying the court on the issue that the accused will jump and interfere with witnesses, I would not grant the accused bail,” he said. The case will resume on July 21 for hearing.
Lang Conteh was a former senior official of the Central Bank of The Gambia and a partner in the now defunct Youth Development Enterprise and Camelot, ‘Mall of The Gambia’ both situated along Kairaba Avenue. He fell from grace alongside the late Baba Jobe. Both men were charged, arraigned and convicted for economic crimes and served jail terms at the Banjul prison. Mr Conteh was later released and he went into voluntary exile in Senegal from where he returned and was employed by the owners of Kanilai group.]]>