By Nelson Manneh
The criminal charges filed in Court by the State against Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay former Speaker of the National Assembly and Yankuba Touray a former Minister, was yesterday June 12th withdrawn from Court. The duo who served during the regime of former president Yaya Jammeh, were arraigned before the Kanifing Magistrate’s Court by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), but the matter was subsequently transferred to the High Court of the Gambia when the State decided to take over the matter from the IGP and prosecute the accused persons.
The accused persons were charged with three criminal counts, and these were conspiracy to commit felony contrary to Section 368 of the Criminal Code Cap 10:10 Volume III, Laws of the Gambia. The two were accused of interfering with a witness contrary to Section 36 (a) of the TRRC Act, Laws of the Gambia 2017, in which they all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
When the case was called before Justice Aminata Saho-Ceesay of the Banjul High Court yesterday June 12th 2019, Lawyer AN Yusuf appeared for the State whilst Lawyer Abdoulie Sisoho appeared for the first accused person Yankuba Touray and Lawyer L.S. Camara appeared for the second accused person Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay. The two accused persons appeared in Court in person when they were summoned.
Counsel AN Yusuf in his application told the Court that the State would like to withdraw the charges brought against the two accused persons and discharge them as well. “We want to apply for the withdrawal of the charges imposed on the two accused persons, and for them to be discharged by the Court,” he said.
Lawyer L.S Camara who appeared for the second accused person in his response told the Court that he has no objection towards the application made by the State, but would also apply for the Court to give the accused persons the documents they tendered to the Court upon their arrest. “I have no objection to the application made by the State, but I would like the accused persons to be given their travel and all other documents tendered to Court upon their arrest and for them to be discharged,’’ he said.
Justice Aminata Saho-Ceesay in her ruling, said the accused persons are discharged from Court according to the Laws of The Gambia and ordered for their documents to be given back to them.
If readers can recall, Yankuba Touray and Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay were first arraigned before the Kanifing Magistrates Court upon their arrest and charged with three criminal counts. Both pleaded not guilty to the charges.