A former nominated National Assembly member, Tina Faal, yesterday appeared before Principal Magistrate Omar Cham at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court after prosecutors levied against her a three-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining goods by false pretence and theft, contrary to the laws of The Gambia.
The court granted her bail in the sum of D500,000 with two Gambian sureties who must deposit title deeds within the Greater Banjul Area in the like sum to the registrar of the court.
The magistrate also ordered her to surrender her travel documents to the registrar of the court.
Tina Faal is said to have conspired with one Babanding Sissoho to wit sold various parts of Boeing 727-234 SN 2216-55V TPA aircraft to one Alhagie Omar Keita with intent to defraud sometime between 2014 and 2016 in Banjul and diverse places. The aircraft is said to be the property of O’ Corporation Company Ltd.
With intent to defraud, Mrs Faal is also charged for selling various parts of Boeing 727-234 SN 2216-55V TPA aircraft belonging to O’ Corporation Company Ltd of Ireland by Sheriff Sale to one Alhagie Omar Keita when she fully knew or had reason to belief that the said flight was sold by the Sheriff of The Gambia by way of public auction.
On count three, she is said to have, with intent to permanently deprive through fraudulence, stolen and sold various parts of Boeing 727-234 SN 2216-55V TPA aircraft belonging to O’ Corporation Company Ltd of Ireland by Sheriff sale to Alhagie Omar Keita when she fully knew or had reason to belief that the said flight was bought by O’ Corporation Company from the Sheriff of The Gambia by way of public auction. She denied culpability of all the charges.
Her defence counsel, Combeh Gaye objected to the third count, saying Section 245 of the Criminal Code is the definition of stealing and not statement of offence as charged.
The counsel cited relevant authorities to back herself but her argument was questioned by the Police Prosecutor, Inspector S Sanyang, who said Counsel Gaye misconceived the Section.
Counsel Gaye relied on Section 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 19 of the Constitution to request for the accused person to be granted bail.
She submitted that the accused person is not a flight risk and was a responsible National Assembly Member.
Defence Gaye said Mrs Faal has competent sureties to stand for her, saying granting her bail is in the discretion of the court.
Responding to the defence’s application, Prosecutor Sanyang submitted that investigation is still ongoing in the matter, despite the year stated in the charges. He said a new development has come up in the matter that prompted the fresh investigations.
He said if granted bail, Mrs Faal may interfere with the potential witnesses or abscond the jurisdiction of the court, making reference to the case of Ben Jammeh and Fatou Camara.
The case is adjourned to to 1st August for hearing.
by Lama s Jallow