By Rohey Jadama
The special criminal Division of the Banjul High Court presided over by Justice O. Otaba yesterday 6 December, 2016 granted bail to fourteen United Democratic Party Supporters in the sum of D100,000 each.
The accused persons are Bakary Jammeh, Kaddy Samateh, a lactating mother of a five months baby, Lele Bojang, Alkali Sanneh, Yaya Fatty, Muhammed Singhateh, Kemo Touray, Bakary Marong, Buba Mass, Alagie Saidykhan, Tombong Njie, Modou Sarr, Sheriff Suma, and Lamin Dampha.
They are being tried on seven counts of ‘Conspiracy to commit felony’, ’Unlawful Assembly’, ‘Riot’, ‘Incitement of violence’, ‘Interfering with a vehicle’, ‘Holding a possession without a permit’, and disobeying an order to disperse, to which they all pleaded not guilty to
Lawyer B. Jaiteh appeared for the state, while Lawyer Amie N.D Bensouda, Hawa Sisay-Sabally, Rachel Y. Mendy, Borry S. Touray, Yassin Sneghore , Combeh Gaye and Anna Njie annouced their representation for all the accused persons.
Delivering his ruling Justice Otaba said on Monday 5 December,2016 when the case came up Lawyer Bensouda applied bail for the accused persons for the fact that there is a significant change of circumstance in the country.
She said the UDP in which these accused persons are part of are in the process of forming their government.
Justice Otaba said Lawyer for the accused persons submitted that if her clients were a threat to National security at that time, now that they have been successful and victorious; it is their continued detention that posed a threat to peace and instability. She said they were the opposition when the ruling was given but they are now the government.
“I find and hold that it is in the interest of justice to grant bail. It is for the above reasons that I will exercise my discretion in favour of all the applicants”, ruled Justice Otaba.
He granted bail to all of them in the sum of D100, 000 each with one surety who shall enter into recognizance and depose to an affidavit of means.
The case was adjourned till 22 December, 2016 at 12noon for hearing.