By Bruce Asemota
The High Court in Banjul has awarded D300,000 as damages against Bakeba BKS Susso, the former officer commanding of Interpol Gambia for defamation of character and reputation of one Fadul Muhamed Khair.
Mr Khair is a shareholder in Mid-Africa Aviation Company Limited.
Mr Khair filed a suit against the Attorney General, Inspector General of Police and Bakeba BKS Susso, in an application for leave to apply for orders of certiorari and prohibition against the government of the Gambia.
The High Court declared that Bakeba BKS Susso unlawfully used his authority under the Interpol system to harass or otherwise interfere with Fadul Muhammed Khair’s liberty and freedom through the Interpol arrangement without following due process.
The High Court also declared that Bakeba BKS Susso illegally and wrongly sent malicious and damaging letters about the applicant to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Sudan that Fadul Muhamed Khair was being investigated in The Gambia for corruption, presentation and giving false information to public officers, including the police.
The trial Judge disclosed that the Office of the Inspector General of Police is a public institution whose duty includes the investigation of criminal complaints made by the general public and under whose duty to investigate and prosecute.
The trial Judge pointed out that the letter written by Bakeba BKS Susso on the 28th October, 2020 in connection to criminal investigation regarding aircraft alleged that a complaint has been filed against Fadul Muhamed Khair with the intent to investigate a criminal activity involving the stealing of 10 aircraft belonging to Mid-Africa Aviation, in which the complainant is a major shareholder.
The trial Judge said the fact that the Solicitor General, by a letter dated 20th November, 2020, wrote to competent authority of the Republic of Sudan to inform that Bakeba BKS Susso acted without the authority of the Gambia Police Force, was never challenged or controverted by either of the respondents.
The Judge said Bakeba BKS Susso was the head of Interpol Banjul under the command of the Inspector General of Police and there was no investigation against Fadul Muhamed Khair and that Susso’s letters to the authorities in Sudan and elsewhere were done in bad faith and at best, misleading and malicious with intention to defraud.
Justice Ebrima Jaiteh disclosed that the action of Mr Susso is an unfortunate behavior of a senior police officer in a democratic society and as a result, Fadul Muhamed Khair is entitled to damages to vindicate his loss of reputation and to assuage his pain for sending malicious letters to authorities outside the jurisdiction of The Gambia.
The judgement was delivered on 26th May, 2022.