By Bruce Asemota
Justice Ebrima Baa Jaiteh of the High Court in Banjul has given 12 days to Principal State Counsel K.Tah of the Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Justice to file charges against 22 suspects alleged to have attacked and burnt Sanyang police station.
Justice Jaiteh made this declaration yesterday, 31st March whilst presiding over the criminal trial involving the State and 22 persons.
The 22 suspects were alleged to have made their way to premises where they ransacked the facility at a factory and set ablaze the company’s offices and the personal effects of its employees.
The suspects were also alleged to have been armed with stones and sticks and set tires ablaze in the middle of the road, attacked policemen who were sent to quell the situation, as well as setting the police station ablaze.
Defence Counsel Lamin Darbo had raised a preliminary objection to the summons on notice filed by the State, noting that only seven suspects’ cautionary and voluntary statements had been obtained, whilst the remaining suspects’ statements are not before the court.
Lawyer Darbo also raised the detention period of the suspects, arguing that their continued detention without charge is a violation of their fundamental human rights.
Principal State Counsel K. Tah had intimated that it needed 21 days to prepare the bill of the indictment as the matter was still under investigation.
But Justice Jaiteh informed the court that 21 days was long considering the suspects are under custody, noting that the summons on notice cannot be heard by the court.
Justice Jaiteh stated that the court cannot at this juncture entertain any applications for bail and advised Principal State Counsel Tah and defence counsel Lamin Darbo to work closely with each other so as to assist the court at a just conclusion and the matter was adjourned to the 15th April 2021 for further mention.