Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Finance Minister granted bail after ‘illegally detained' for 41 days

Mambury Njie ex-finance minister of The Gambia was illegally detained for 41 days
At last, the High Court in Banjul has granted bail bond of D15 million to Mambury Njie, erstwhile Gambia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs.

The the bond also requires Gambian sureties who must be lease holders within the Greater Banjul Area, a region where many of the country’s rich citizens lives and own properties.

The court bail came after Mr Njie has been detained for 41 days at the country’s maximum security center (Mile 2 Prison) without formal charge(s) brought against him. His counsel Lamin S. Camara described his detention as “illegal”.

He was denied bail on three attempts based on arguments that investigations are ongoing.

On Jan. 4, 2013, Justice Abdullah Mikilalu, presiding,  admitted that Mr Njie has spent 41 days in detention without any formal charges before the court.

“…and I hereby granted him bail upon the completion of the investigation,” Mikilalu ruled.

He told the court that the sureties shall be lease holder of properties within Greater Banjul Area and the applicant shall surrender all his travel documents to the Registrar of the High Court.

Mikilalu also ruled that the applicant shall report to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) from Monday to Thursday of every week.

Mr Njie, who human rights activists protested against his detention, was earlier charged with two counts of “Economic Crime” and “Abuse of Office”.

He had not taken his plea after the Banjul Magistrates Court referred his case to the High Court for lack of jurisdiction.

After the court session on Monday, Mr Njie was seen escorted by State’s Prison security officers. It is not clear if he was able to fulfill the bail condition that day.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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