Sunday, May 15, 2011

West Coast Radio Journalist to be exonerated if…


BB Baldeh
Bakary B. Baldeh, a sports producer and presenter for West Coast Radio (WCR), a privately-owned FM station in Banjul is likely to be exonerated of a criminal charge brought against him by the police provided that the defence succeeds in their application.
Senior defence counsel Pap Cheyassin Secka had applied to the Kanifing Municipal Court to struck-out Count One “Conspiracy to Commit Felony” during the previous sitting on April 28.
The count is the only charge that the WCR journalist is standing trial on after count two “Incitement to Violence” was expunged by the court on March 31 after counsel Secka argued that the charge is not known to law.
On his sixth appearance on May 11, 2011 before the lower court presided by Magistrate Sheriff B. Tabally, the defence referred the Court to the application filed by counsel Pap Cheyasin Secka.
The defence submitted that the said “count” contains in its particular of offence an “incitement of violence”, the same as the charge that was removed.
When he took his turn, Police Prosecutor Corporal 3560 Colley told the Court that following the application filed by Counsel Secka, the prosecution sent the charge to the Attorney General’s Chambers for legal advice.
He noted that they’ve not laid their hands on the document since and for this reason he applied for an adjournment. However, defense counsel Kebba Sanyang, who was holding brief for counsels Secka and Lamin S. Camara, objected to the application, arguing that the prosecutor’s stance is not tangible.
This was the same reason put forward by the prosecution, leading to the adjournment of the trial during an April 28 proceeding, Sanyang said.
He adds that it is not fair for the accused persons to be coming and going every time without the case proceeding, and urged the court to give the prosecution a “very short” adjournment.
At this point, the presiding Magistrate granted the prosecution’s application for an adjournment, but warns that if the prosecution cannot proceed during the next adjourned date of May 16, 2011, he will deliver the ruling.
Bakary B. Baldeh is standing trial along with Lamin Drammeh, Lamin Tamba, Almamy Jagne, and Bakary Njie, all of whom are members of the Fajara Golf Club, on charges of “conspiracy to commit felony” and “Prohibition of Conduct to Breach the Peace”.
They have since denied any wrong doing and are being represented by Counsels Pap Cheyassin Secka, Kebba Sanyang and Lamin S. Camara.
Baldeh’s trial emanate from a February 11 sports programme on west coast radio in which he hosted two aggrieved golf workers, who criticized the President of Gambia Golf Association, GAA Ebrima Jawara (a son of the former president Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara) of unfair treatment.

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