|A bail request filed on his (Jobarteh's) first appearance at the Magistrates’ Court in the capital was turned down.|
Erstwhile Justice Minister Lamin Jobarteh and his Solicitor General Pa Harry Jammeh can apply for bail at the High Court, a city Court Magistrate said on Wednesday.
The police in Banjul brought 10 criminal charges against the two on June 19. Both have denied conspiracy to defeat justice, abuse of office, official corruption, destroying evidence, and neglect of official duty.
A bail request filed on their first appearance at the Magistrates’ Court in the capital was turned down.
Dawda Jallow, presiding, said the prosecution’s argument that the accused are likely to jump bail is not reliable. However, he denied the accused persons bail.
“The application for bail is refused and the accused persons shall be remanded at Mile 2 Prison till 25 June,” he told a full packed court gallery. “The accused persons are entitled to apply for bail at the High Court.”
Superintendent Sainey Joof and Sergeant Alimameh Manga are prosecuting, while Ebrima Jah is defending the 2nd accused (Pa Harry Jammeh), and Lamin S. Camara and Borry S. Touray are representing the 1st accused person (Lamin Jobarteh).
Counsel Jah, who was holding brief for Camara and Touray, lamented the fact that the accused have been in detention for 30 days contrary to the constitutional limit of 72 hours.
“The accused are responsible persons who will not interfere with investigations,” he said.
Outside the Court on Thursday, Pa Harry Jammeh wept after the proceeding, FPI sources said.
However, Superintendent Sainey Joof, Prosecuting, feared the top “influential” Government officials are likely to abscond if granted bail.
Joof cited the case of Benedict Jammeh, an ex-top State agent and that of Nanama Keita, a local journalist – both of whom jumped bail.
Though Magistrate Jallow decided to remand them, he argued that Joof’s arguments cannot be relied on. They are entitled to bail at the High Court, he ruled.
The former Attorney General and Minister of Justice was sacked a month after presiding over a “widely criticised” false information law in April. Last year, he defended President Jammeh’s decision to execute nine prisoners in August.