By Kebba Secka
James Mendy, the Chief Security of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has been added to the eight other NIA security personnel that are facing charges on accessory to the fact after murder.
When the case was called before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the Banjul High Court and Sheriff Kumba Jobe appeared for the applicants (accused persons) whilst Abdourahman Bah represented the State.
The accused persons are now James Mendy, Quasy Mendy, Leon Gomez and seven other accused persons who were all officials of the NIA.
The applicants are seeking for bail arguing that the case since commencement has never proceeded and the State hasn’t filed any process whilst they are held under detention at the maximum unit at the State Central Prison, Mile II.
The defence counsel submitted that state lacks evidence to proceed with their case. SK Jobe told the court that the counsel for the state served him the affidavit in opposition objecting to the bail application whilst the court session was in progress. According to Jobe, the affidavit dated 29th May 2018 by the State which is an affidavit which objected the bail application was served to him in court which should have been done earlier. Counsel Jobe further added that the constitutional rights of the accused are violated by the Inspector General of Police by not respecting the 72 hours detention of the accused persons before they were arraigned before the lower court in Banjul and the charges were premeditated against the bail applicants. Jobe said the applicants were first arraigned before Banjul Magistrate Court and since then, they are being denied bail. He said the continued detention of the accused persons came about from an order made in a subordinate court but that the High Court has power to grant the bail application that was denied by the lower court.
“We respectfully submit that since the accused persons were brought before the High Court, the state has failed or refused to press charges against the accused persons until the instance of bail application was brought before the court.
He further submitted that the application of for bail is a wake-up effort by the state to disturb the peaceful determination of this matter by the court. He further stated that without the intervention of the court, the state would not mind how long the accused persons stay in detention.
“The affidavit in opposition to the bail by the state does not in any way contravene the application made by the applicants,” said SK Jobe.
According to Jobe, section 19 (1) of the 1997 Constitution guarantees every person the right to liberty and the same section also provides that any person arrested should be brought to court. Jobe reminded the court that it is the order of a subordinate court that is still leaving his clients in detention and unless the High Court grants the bail application, the applicants will continue to be in detention.
“My lord, the attachment in the affidavit placed before this honourable court has no indication of charges or no charges have been preferred against the 9th accused person (James Mendy) in this trial,” Lawyer Jobe stated.
Counsel SK Jobe brought it to the notice of the court that the state hasn’t pressed charges against James Mendy who is also detained with the 8 accused persons.
“I wish to inform the court that the 9th accused person has been in detention for 45 days now without charges preferred against him,” explained Jobe.
In objecting to the bail application of the accused persons, state counsel said they filed two processes which to which Salem Darboe deposed on 21st May 2018 and the other dated 29th May 2018.
At this juncture, the judge intervened and urged the State to make a proper serving of the affidavit used in the case against the accused persons.
“At least, you (the State counsel) could have filed your affidavit two days prior to this sitting,” stated the judge.
He urged the defence counsel, as he raised concerns while replying to the affidavit in opposition to the bail application to do so before the next adjourned date so that the court could take a short date to make a ruling on the bail application of the accused persons.
Subsequently, the case was adjourned till Wednesday 6 June 2018, at 1 pm for defence counsel to reply to the state on points of law.