By Amadou Jadama
A soldier has appeared in court in connection with the June 2 demonstration in Kanilai.
Omar Sanneh was charged with five counts, bordering on unlawful assembly, incitement of violence, prohibition of conduct, riot and threatening violence.
Prosecutors alleged that on 2 June at Kanilai village, Mr Sanneh with intent to kill or injure, threatened to kill the authority of The Gambia Government and any other Gambian if they come to Kanilai village to freeze the properties of the former president Yahya Jammeh in an audio message.
The accused pleaded not guilty to all the five counts and police Prosecutor Lamin Jammeh opposed his request for bail citing security reasons.
“The situation caused fear within the Kanilai and surroundings, and if he is granted bail he may commit similar offences or jump bail and since the matter is under investigation I therefore urged you to deny him bail and remand in custody,” the policeman begged the court.
However, lawyer for the accused urged the court to grant his client bail. He said the accused person was a Gambian who served the Gambia Army Forces to defend the sovereignty of this country.
“Bail is a constitutional right and not a privilege and he should not be denied that right,” the lawyer said.
He further added that the accused is a family man and he is the breadwinner of his family.
“The situation in Kanilai is now under control. If Mr Sanneh is granted bail, he will not jump bail, and since all his charges are bailable offences, I urge the court to grant him bail,” he pleaded.
In his ruling, Principal Magistrate Omar Cham granted Sanneh bail in the sum of D1 million with two Gambian sureties each of whom must deposit a title deed and their ID card.
He also ordered that the accused should desist from the social media and not associate himself with any gathering of five people pending the outcome of the case.
The case is adjourned to 29 June for hearing.