BABYLON attack 95 bailed
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Ninty-five alleged Babylon Village attackers were yesterday granted court bail by Magistrate E F Mbai of the Brikama Magistrate court. When the case was first called last Monday, 88 accused persons were arraigned. Yesterday, an additional seven were accused, bringing the total to 95.
Lawyer Antouman Gaye, assisted by Lawyer A Coker, represented 82 of the accused persons, while Lawyer Amie Joof-Conteh represented six of them.
In his evidence in chief, Lamin Jarju, prosecution witness one (PWI) said on March 30, 2008, he was in his house and saw a lot of the accused persons coming into Babylon and put fire on houses in Babylon.According to Jarju, he was able to recognised Yusupha Badjie, Yankuba Jammeh, Karamba Jawara, Yahya Suwareh, Sambou Camara , Lansana Jammeh and Ebrima Manneh among the accused persons who distroyed his house and set fire on other houses.
"I then went to Yundum police station to report the matter. On my arrival from the police station, I found that a lot of the accused persons had been arrested".
During cross examination, Lawyer Antouman Gaye put it to PWI Lamin Jarju that there was no place in The Gambia officially called Babylon and that he (Lamin Jajur) had made himself the Alkalo. But PWI objected to that. Lawyer Gaye further put it to him that, he (Jarju) sub divided and alocated lands to people and that the people he gave lands to pay rates to him.
Jarju replied that he gave his lands to people and the people he gave lands to pay their rates to him. He was further asked by Lawyer Antouman Gaye as to who gave him the right to levy tax on people, Jarju said the Brikama Area Council do request rates from him.
At this juncture, the witness was asked to stand down and Lawyer Antouman Gaye will continue his cross examination on the next adjourned date.
Lawyer Antouman Gaye applied for the bail of his clients, arguing that the accused were Gambians and responsible people who would appear before the court whenever they were needed. According to Lawyer Antouman Gaye, there were people willing to stand as sureties for the accused persons.
Lawyer Amie Joof-Conteh adopted the submission of Lawyer Antouman Gaye. She added that if her clients were granted bail, they would certaintly appear in court when needed.
However, ASP Camara, the prosecutor objected to the bail application, saying the police were still on their investigations. He said that granting the accused bail wouldl halt their investigations.
Magistrate Mbai over ruled ASP Camara and granted the 95 accused persons bail with a sum of D10,000 each with a Gambian surity. The case was then adjourned to the 22 of April.
Amadou Jallow contributed to this story
Author: by Lamin M Dibba