By Yankuba Jallow
Yesterday, Thursday, 27th October 2016, the Director of Public Prosecutions urged the high court to revoke the bail of the accused persons granted bail in the case involving Sira Wally Ndow and 8 others.
When the case was called before Justice Ottaba of the special criminal division of the Banjul High Court, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Bakhum announced his representation for the state.
Lawyers Antouman Gaye, S. Tambedou and M.M. Njie announced their appearances for the 1st accused person, L.S. Camara for the 2nd, 3rd , 5th and the 8th defendants, Mrs. R.Y Mendy, D. Boye for the 4th accused person, Labouna Farage for the 6th and the 9th accused persons, M. Taal, whilst S. Tambedou was for the 7th accused person.
The DPP applied for the court to revoke the bail given to the accused persons as some of them were granted bail in the previous charges before been amended. He said the charges are amended and the court should consider them as new charges and should detain those who were granted bail.
The defence counsel argued that before they were granted bail some five conditions were attached to the bail and they have not violated any of those conditions. Amongst the condition was the accused persons to be present in court in every hearing and none of the accused person missed any of the proceedings. Some were denied bail by the court. They pleaded for the court to consider its previous conditions as it was the same court that granted some of the accused persons bail.
Counsel Mendy submitted that the purpose of bail is to secure the appearance of the accused person up to the determination of the case and it has been so throughout. He referred the court to its records that all the accused persons are always present and none of the conditions that were attached to the bail is violated. She reminded the court of its previous ruling that it cannot revoke a bail that it already gave. She further referred the court to the case of Ebute and others v The State 1994 LTLR 14551 where the court held that once a bail is granted, unless there is evidence of changed circumstance, it will not revoke the bail that has been granted. There are no special circumstances to warrant the court to revoke its previous bail, the defence argued. The state amended the charges and brought no new charges as the charges are the same, no changes, the defence added.
The DPP argued that as the new filing is made, the court should revisit its previous rulings as the charges were amended. Upon hearing this, Justice Ottaba adjourned the case till Monday, 31st October 2016, at 3pm for ruling on the application and continuation of hearing.