By Bruce Asemota
Mansa Sumareh, a former driver to President Barrow and an interdicted protocol officer Ebrima JS Sanneh were each granted bail in the sum of half-a-million dalasis by the High Court in Banjul yesterday.
Justice Ebrima Ba Jaiteh further ordered that each of the accused persons must provide two Gambian sureties.
The accused persons were asked to attend all court hearings and deposit all travel documents at the court.
The state filed amended information removing the names of the two suspects – Ousman Touray and Saikou Sanneh – who fled the jurisdiction from the bill of indictment before Sumareh and Sanneh took their pleas.
The two pleaded not guilty to the eight counts of forgery, conspiracy to commit felony, uttering false documents, making false documents without authority, and procuring and execution of documents by false pretences.
The prosecution alleged that sometime in 2019, the two men forged a letter of approval from the Office of the President for the issuance of a Gambian diplomatic passport to one Bakary Susso.
They were further alleged that have fraudulently uttered to the Gambia Immigration Department a false letter of approval from the Office of the President for the issuance of the passport to Mr Susso.
The prosecution also said in 2019, Sumareh and Sanneh used false and fraudulent representation to get Mr Abdoulie Bah (permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to sign a forged letter of approval from the Office of the President for the issuance of a diplomatic passport to Susso.
The matter has been adjourned for a fortnight for hearing.