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City of Banjul
Friday, September 18, 2020

State’s absence delays verdict in ex-Immigration DG’s trial

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Mr Sagnia was in court together with his lawyer, Edward Singhatey when the trial resumed Monday for the magistrate, Lamin Mbaye to put an end to the nine-month trial. However, the state prosecutor, Mam Jobe was not in court and no reason was advanced for her absence in court.

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When Lawyer Singhatey realised that the state prosecutor was not in court, he asked the magistrate to push the judgment. However, Singhatey asked the court to issue a hearing notice to the state for them to be present on Monday, September 23.

Mr Sagnia is on trial on two charges of abuse of office. He was first arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates Court last November for allegedly acting in excess of the powers of his office and issued entry clearance to Ali Chahin and Hussein Abs, Syrian and Lebanese nationals, without forwarding the matter to the National Intelligence Agency for security screening in October 2013. 

He denied any wrong doing and maintained in his defence that he had all the powers when he was the head of the Immigration Department to issue entry clearance to anybody after meeting the criteria according to the Immigration manual.

Six men have testified as state witnesses including the director of investigation unit at the National Intelligence Agency. He testified in chambers for ‘security reasons’ while the five other witnesses testified in an open courtroom.

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