By Kebba Jeffang Magistrate Omar Cham of the Brikama Magistrate’s Court yesterday, 5 March, refused to grant the application submitted by defencecounsel in the false information trial of Borry J. Saidy on the grounds that the application is premature in the absence of the purported letter sent to the office of the President. The ruling came after Borry S. Touray, counsel for the accused, submitted that the charge against his client is incompetent because the information on it states that it was sent to the office of the president and that the president is not a public servant and therefore should be dismissed. He cited section 166 of the 1997 Constitution as well as the Public Service Act to support his argument. The police prosecutor, Chief Inspector Fadera, for his part, counter argued that the president is a public officer as he was voted into office by the people. He also cited the constitution. When the case was called, Police CI Fadera announced his representation for the prosecution, while Lawyer Touray, representing the accused, was said to be bereaved and not in court. In his ruling on the matter, Magistrate Cham said he has heard both sides well. He said the arguments on whether the president is or is not a public servant by the defence and the prosecution is premature because there is no letter before the court. “It is my opinion that the office of the President is a whole institution that may not or may contain civil/public servants who are within the contemplations of section 166 and unless the court sees the purported letter written to the Office of the President to ascertain the addressee(s) of that letter, it cannot entertain the arguments before it. The application is premature in the absence of the letter and is therefore refused,” Magistrate Cham. At this stage, the accused person said he has the purported letter with him. The trial magistrate told him to pass the letter to the court through his counsel. The matter was adjourned to 12th March, 2015 at 2.30 pm. The accused person is the acting manager of Air Traffic Services at the Banjul International Airport. He was accused of writing to the Office of the President claiming an unfair treatment which information he knew or believed to be false and had thereby committed an offence. He was granted court bail on condition that he produces 3 sureties who should sign a bond of D200.000 together with their ID Cards.]]>

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