By Bruce Asemota
Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court has freed one Arif Amin Hussein, a Pakistani national who was sent to jail by a Kanifing Magistrates court for ‘disturbing the court environment’. Mr Hussein has been coming to attend a case against him at the court.
The case file about his incarceration was given to Justice Jaiteh by the Chief Justice, Hassan B.Jallow to inspect and review, after an official complaint was lodged to the subordinate court’s supervision and monitoring committee against the magistrate who sent Arif to prison.
The complaint was that the magistrate, (name withheld) committed Arif Amin Hussein to Mile 2 Central Prisons on the 20 March, 2023 for disturbing the court environment and that since his incarceration, Arif had no access to anyone and the duration of his sentence was unknown.
After reviewing and inspecting the case file, Justice Jaiteh said from the records of the proceedings, the procedure adopted by the trial magistrate was improper and wrong in law, because the prosecution’s case was never concluded and Arif Amin Hussein was not given any opportunity to state his case.
Justice Jaiteh therefore declared that Arif Amin Husssein’s right to a fair trial was violated by the magistrate who also violated the mandatory provision of section 192 of the Evidence Act, 1994.
Justice Jaiteh therefore acquitted and discharged Arif Amin Hussein of the single charge of violation Section 9 of the Public Order Act, on the grounds that the prosecution did not prove its case beyond reasonable doubt against him.
The Judge further ordered the Sheriff of the Gambia to facilitate and ensure that all the goods seized from Arif be returned forthwith.