Gambians Hamidou Savage, Abdou Camara, Ousman Sowe, Mansa Bah, Sheikh Dawda York, Kemo Fatty and Guineans Alpha Kante and Oumie Saffiatou Diallo were supposed to take their plea on three counts of conspiracy to defraud, obtaining money by false pretence and economic crimes.
However, when the hearing resumed yesterday, defence lawyers, said they had not been served with the indictments, despite court orders. The prosecutor, AM Yusuf, at that point, served copies of the indictment to the defence counsels.
The defence argued that their clients could not immediately react to charges.
“It is here in court that the prosecutor executes the orders of the court. We have to sit with our clients, read the charges to them and know how they will plead,” one of the lawyers, Edward Gomez said.
The case continues on March 23.
The marabout and his co-accused are standing trial for conspiring among themselves to deceive Mr Abdoulie Bittaye and his partner by collecting D7, 465,000 on the pretext that they were going to sell 50 kilos of gold which they knew was false.
They are also accused of intentionally causing economic loss to the Gambia government by declaring only D41, 475 to the Gambia Revenue Authority, instead of actual D59, 250, causing economic loss of D1, 777, 500 to the Gambia.]]>