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City of Banjul
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Darboe asks SCC to grant rape suspect bail, state says no

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Mr Darboe who filed on behalf of his client submitted: “This is an application… seeking for the release of Muhammad Darboe on bail who was suspected of rape and still languishing in detention since his arrest without being charged, released on bail or brought before any competent court of law. Our application is supported by 8 paragraphs with 2 affidavits and we relied on all the affidavits contained in the motion. The undisputed fact is that the applicant, Muhammad Darboe, was arrested since the beginning of the Ramadan this year and has been in detention and since then he has not been charged, brought before a court of law within 72 hours or remanded by any court order.”

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Appearing before Justice Amadi of the Special Criminal Court Division at the High Court in Banjul, Darboe argued that any further detention of his client will tantamount to the infringement of his  constitutional rights as his client has been in detention  beyond the constitutional limit  without any court order. 

 “Since the detention of the applicant in July this year, if there is prima facie case, the bill of indictment would have been filed and executed and if that is the case, the respondent [state] will be ready and willing to prosecute the matter but that is not the case. The presumption of bail should be in favour of the applicant as there is no certified proof of offence and certified proof of detention but since his arrest and detention at Bansang, no charges has been filed against him and yet he is still in detention at Janjangbureh.  I urged your lordship to grant our application and release the applicant on bail,” he concluded. 

The state chief prosecutor, Hadi Saleh Barkun responded: “We oppose the application of bail made by the defence in the strongest term. We have filed an affidavit in opposition which was signed by Ya Hadi Bah and we rely on all the deposition it contained. The applicant is charged with rape contrary to section 121 and punishable under section 123 of the Criminal Code and the offences fall under this section is life imprisonment and such offences are not bailable.”

DPP Barkun urged the court to throw away the bail application as there was no material evidence before the court to grant bail to the applicant but notwithstanding recommended that the only thing the court could do was to order for the accelerated hearing of the case.

The matter was then adjourned for ruling.

 

Jarra murder accused remanded

Meanwhile in a separate matter, the special criminal court in Banjul yesterday remanded one Alhaji Karamo Njie, accused of murder after he pleaded not guilty.

Mr Njie is accused of killing one Baboucarr Fadera at Jarra Jappineh in March by tieing his hands and legs together and beating him to death. 

When the case was mentioned yesterday before Justice Amadi, the accused walked quietly into the dock and the director of public prosecution, Hadi Saleh Barkun announced his appearance for the state along with M Mendy and Oumie Danso while lawyer Edward Gomez pronounced his representation for the accused. When the charge was read and translated to the accused in Mandinka, he denied any culpability.

The DPP then informed the court that they have eight witnesses to present in the case and the matter was subsequently adjourned to November 26 for proper hearing. The accused was remanded. 

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