Fatou Touray of ‘Kerr Fatou’ online media and one Fatoumatta Drammeh, both media practitioners, are now the only two charged before the Brikama Magistrates Court.
The two are charged with “unauthorised publication of proceedings from the Children’s Court,” contrary to the laws of the Gambia.
According to the particulars of offence, Fatou Touray and Fatoumatta Drammeh, sometime between the months of January and February 2021, published the matter of Samsudeen Phatey vs Neneh J. Thompson pending at the Children’s Court without authorisation of the said Court, and thereby committed an offence. They both pleaded not guilty to the charge.
When the matter resumed on Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, Counsel Jallow told the Court that the matter was for plea taking by the accused persons.
“We have an amended charge sheet dated 2nd August 2022, and filed it on the 3rd August, 2022,” Coubsel Jallow said.
According to him, the amended charge sheet is a reflection of the fact that even though they have five accused persons, only two are available in the court in respect of the three other accused persons.
He then applied for the original charge sheet to be amended to enable the two accused persons available in court to take their plea.
Attorney for the accused persons Abdul Aziz Bensouda, objected to the application and cited Section 169 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) for the amendment of the charge sheet.
Lawyer Bensouda argued that the prosecution’s application has no ground and was irrelevant, adding that from the last sitting, it was stated that if the complainant did not produce all the accused persons, the first charge sheet will be struck out by the Court. He argued that if a group of people are charged with a crime, all of them should be prosecuted together.
Counsel Jallow in response to Bensouda’s arguments said he has the right to amend the charge sheet and Section 169 of the CPC which Counsel Bensouda cited was not to be cited at plea taking, but during trial.
Magistrate Peter Adoh Che in his ruling granted the prosecution’s application for the charge sheet to be amended.
Consequently, the matter was adjourned to Thursday 11th August 2022, for hearing.