By Rohey Jadama
The Gambia Court of Appeal has yesterday 8 December, 2016 granted bail to convicted Fatoumatta Jawara, the Chairperson of the Female Youth Wing of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and ten others pending the final determination of their appeal.
Mrs-Jawara, together with Lamin Sonko, Modou Touray, Lasana Beyai, Lamin Marong, Alagie Fatty, 2016 Nogoi Njie, Fatou Camara, Kafu Bayo, Ebrima Jabang and Modou Ngum are challenging the decision of Justice Simeon Ateh Abi of Mansakonko High court in the Lower River Region of the Gambia who on 21 July, 2016 convicted and sentenced them to various years and fines.
Lawyers Antouman A.B Gaye, Amie N.D Bensouda,Hawa Sisay-Sabally Omar M.M Njie, Rachel Y. Mendy, Ms. Neneh Cham, Musa O.S Batchily, Yassin Seneghore,Abdoulie Sissokho, Combeh Gaye and Ms. Anna Njie announced their representation for the appellants. While Lawyers A. M Yusuf and A. Mendy appeared for the state.
Lawyer Gaye told the court that the fourth appellant Lamin Marong is admitted at the hospital and not present in court.
Lawyer Gaye told the court that there is a pending application before the court and that he will like to call on Lawyer Bensouda to move it.
State Counsel Yusuf said in view of the ruling of the case of Ousainou Darboe and 18 others, he is leaving it to the discretion of the court.
“What are you leaving to the court? Are you opposing or not? We want to record you. This ruling delivered has nothing to do with the case , is a different criminal appeal”, said Justice Awa Bah. Lawyer Yusuf maintained that he is not opposing based on the ruling of the court in the case of Darboe and Co.
At this juncture Lawyer Bensouda prayed for the appellants to be admitted to bail in the same terms and conditions as in the sister case of Ousainou Darboe and 18 others.
In her ruling Justice Adogoke said the 1st to the 11th appellants are granted bail with one Gambian surety. She said the appellants should deposit their international passport to the court and where that is not available they should deposit their national ID card.
Lawyer Bensouda at this stage informed the court that the records are ready and applied for 30 days to file the appellants brief of argument.
However, Lawyer Yusuf said since he has been served this morning, he is requesting for a week to study the records and check whether everything is intact.
Barrister Bensouda applied for briefs to be ordered having regards to the fact that vacation is coming. However, the court said the case will be adjourned to enable Lawyer Yusuf to go through the records.
The application of Lawyer Yusuf was granted and the case was adjourned to 15 December, 2016 for mention.