Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Gambia: Lower court says it cannot force State to do anything



Daily Observer editor Alagie Jobe has been in State custody since his arrest in February 2013
“I cannot force the state to do anything,” Magistrate Hilary Abeke said on Tuesday when the defence in the sedition trial against journalist Alagie Jobe urged him to order the state to serve them with Jobe’s statements. 

Seega Gaye, who was holding brief for Job’s lawyer, Ebrima Jah, had urge the court to order the state to serve the defence with the cautionaryand voluntary statements of Alagie Jobe and a witness statement.

Abeke said he has already ordered the state to serve the defence with all the required documents, but said he can’t force it to comply.  

He also admitted seeing the High Court’s order granting bail to Mbaye Bittaye, Jobe’s co-accused when the trial resumed on April 16, 2013, but said: “This Court’s refusal to grant bail to Alagie Jobe is extended.”  

Jobe, a deputy editor of the pro-government Daily Observer has been in the custody of the State since his arrest in February this year. He denied all charges against him, the most serious of which is sedition.

On April 9, additional charges were brought against him.

State takeover 

State prosecutors have now taken over the trial from police prosecutors, A.M. Yusuf from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions announced in Court on Tuesday.

Mr Yusuf subsequently applied for an adjournment to enable the prosecution examine the case.

“I am craving for the indulgence of this honorable court for an adjournment to enable the prosecution study the case and to make headway,” he said. “We apologize for any inconvenience that the application may cause.”   

Mbye’s Counsel Seega Gaye did not object to the application but said it “should not be more than a week because first accused Alagie Jobe is still under custody at the Mile II Central Prison”.

Hearing continues on April 23, 2013. 


Written by Modou S. Joof


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