An accused person who is under trial on a charge of money laundering has been denied bail by a Kanifing Magistrates’ Court for the second time.
Principal Magistrate Hilary Abeke denied granting bail to Lamin Janneh on the grounds that the prosecution is still conducting investigation into the matter.
When the case was first mentioned some two weeks ago, the presiding magistrate ordered for Janneh to be remanded in custody pending the outcome of the police investigation. In Tuesday’s hearing, the prosecuting officer Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Jarju informed the court that the prosecution wanted to proceed with the case but are constrained as they are only given the charge sheet to mention the case before the court.
The prosecutor added that as per the information he received from the police high command, the investigation is yet to be concluded, adding that he is in fact yet to receive the case file.
He appealed to the court to grant the prosecution one last adjournment in order to make progress in the case.
Janneh’s defence counsel L.S. Camara raised no objection to the prosecutor’s adjournment application but stressed the need for his client to be granted court bail, saying that the accused has spent a month in custody.
“When the accused was arraigned, an application for bail was objected on the grounds that the case was under investigation and that was 23days ago. The accused was in custody for 8 days prior to his arraignment and that makes it a month. Therefore, a further objection to the exercise of this court’s discretion to grant bail today will be lame, unreasonable, unjustifiable, and a gross transgression of the right of the accused person to fair and reasonable trial.”
He said the proper procedure the police should have done was to investigate, arrest; if need be, try and not the other way round.
Magistrate Abeke maintained his earlier decision of denying granting bail to the accused person since the prosecution has again maintained that investigation is still ongoing into the matter.
The case is adjourned to 29th November for hearing.
by Meita Touray