Police Shooting Case: State Asks for More Time to File Indictments

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By Kemeseng Sanneh (Kexx)

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Abdul Maita Yusuf has asked for more time from the court to file indictment against two accused persons in the case that emanated from the police shooting that claimed the lives of two.

The case involving the State against Ousainou Bojang & Amie Bojang is transferred from the Kanifing Magistrate’s Court  to the High Court . At the Magistrate’s Court, Ousainou was charged with murder while the sister, Amie was charged with accessory after the fact of murder. Both of them are charged with terrorist attack.

Lawyer Lamin J. Darboe represented Ousainou Bojang while Lawyer Lamin Mboge represented the sister, Amie Bojang.

Lawyer Abdul Maita Yusuf requested adjournment to enable the State to file from the police a day before and said they needed more time to study the file and file the bill of indictment.

Lawyer Mboge expressed concern about the delay in filing the bill of indictment, arguing that it is a violation of the fundamental rights of the accused persons. He said during the vacation period, he filed a summons for the release on bail of Amie Bojang, the second accused person, and the prosecution was served with the application.

Justice Ebrima Jaiteh intervened and noted that the delay in filing the information was a miscellaneous issue. The Judge further suggested that they focus on the substantial issues of the case.

Then A.M. Yusuf (DPP) requested the court to grant them time to file the indictment. He requested additional time until the 19th to 24th of October to ensure they have enough time to prepare. 

Counsel Mboge argued that the State had plenty time to prepare for the case and file the indictment. He questioned what the State has been doing since 12th September 2023 when the case was mentioned at the magistrate’s court.

In response, Justice Jaiteh asked the parties to allow him to make a ruling on the prosecutor’s application.

Justice Jaiteh acknowledged the application sought by A.M. Yusuf (DPP) for an adjournment on the basis that the State Law Office received the file from the police on Wednesday and needed time to file the indictment before 19th October. 

He (Justice Jaiteh) said since the respective counsels for the accused did not object to the application, he ordered the State to file the bill of indictment on or before 19th October 2023. He also ordered the registrar to ensure the bill of indictment is served on the defence counsel on time. 

The case was adjourned to 24th October 2023 at noon for plea taking.

On another issue related to the same case, the lawyer for Amie Bojang informed the court that he had filed an originating summons on behalf of Amie for bail. Counsel Yusuf stated that they had been served on Monday and were still within the time limit to reply to the summons. They requested the court to grant them time to file their reply.

Counsel Mboge objected to the state’s request and expressed disappointment about the state’s commitment to the case, arguing that the case has dimension of both international and public interest. 

He questioned the excuse of the State for receiving the summons on Monday as an excuse as if there was nobody available at the State Law Office to act on the summons.

Justice Jaiteh intervened again, clarifying that the state was within the 8-day timeframe to reply to the originating summons.

On the bail of Ousainou Bojang, Counsel Lamin J. Darboe also stated that he has filed an originating summons on 10th October 2023, adding that the State was served.

He said the application sought bail under sections 19 and 24 of the Constitution. Counsel Darboe acknowledged that the state is still within the time limit and expressed willingness to proceed with the hearing on the 24th of October. Both the prosecution and defence agreed to hear the bail application on 24th October when the main case will be heard as they were still within the legal requirements.