State drops charges against GDC NAM

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By Baba Sillah

Prosecutors have yesterday dropped charges against the opposition Gambia Democratic Congress National Assembly Member for Niamina West, Demba Sowe.
Mr Sowe is being tried along with Ebrima Kebbeh, Sheikh Dawda York, Alpha Kanteh and Kemo Fatty for conspiracy.

They are alleged to have conspired to deceive Muhammed Tunkara, a Gambian based in the UK and his partner by collecting a sum of US$161,000 equivalent to D6,273,000 on the pretext that they were going to sell 50kg of gold valued at US1.5 million, charges they have always denied.

When the case was called before Justice Bakre of the High Court annex in Banjul, state prosecutor Bubacarr D Jaiteh reminded the court of the state’s intention to withdraw charges against Demba Sowe in accordance with Section 218 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Jaiteh also appealed to the court to grant him a leave in order to amend the information after charges against Mr Sowe were struck out.
The trial judge consequently discharged Mr Sowe without any objection from his lawyer, Moses Richard and AJ Njie counsel for the 2nd, 4th and 5th accused persons.
Speaking to The Standard shortly after the case, the plaintiff Beyaki Tunkara slammed the decision as “travesty of justice.”

“I don’t know what will happen in the subsequent hearings because I could notice it from the judge how frustrated he is with regard to the case. My fear is that, the judge may throw the case if his frustration continues like that and if that happens, I will also sue the state,” he warned.
The case resumes 27 May for continuation.