The teenager appeared at the special criminal division of the high court yesterday afternoon before Justice Amadi. However, the judge ordered that the case be transfered to the Children’s Court after the teenager informed him that he is 17.
This was also confirmed by the prison warden who escorted him to court. Officer Jarju said the teenager is currently held at the juvenile wing of the Jeshwang Prison after it was confirmed by the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital that he is 17.
His lawyer from the Legal Aid Agency told the judge before he transferred the case: “If the accused is 17, under law he is still a child. He cannot be called an accused but alleged child offender and I want the case to be transferred to the Children’s Court. The prison authorities have ascertained his age,” lawyer Mbuji said.
The prosecutor, M Mendy did not object to the application. She said the case came to the high court “accidentally”.
The teenager is accused of having carnal knowledge with another underage girl in June at Bakalarr village in the North Bank Region.
In the other case, an 18-year-old woman is due to take her plea in court today charged with causing the death of Mamu Jawo in Bahoum Kunda Village in the Upper River Region.
Haja Jawo was arraigned yesterday at the high court in Banjul but there was no court interpreter who could speak Fula when her case came up. She is expected to take her plea today at midday.
Ms Jawo is charged with one count of manslaughter. She is accused of causing the death of Mamu Jawo by throwing a slipper at him.
She was first arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates Court two months ago but the case was transferred to the high court that has the proper jurisdiction to preside over the case.
The accused is represented by Edward Singhatey.]]>