By Bruce Asemota
Justice Ebrima Ba Jaiteh of the High Court in Banjul has granted bail to one Malick Faye, a robbery suspect alleged to have been involved in a violence robbery in Kuntaur, North Central River Region.
The presiding judge noted that the originating summons and the affidavit in support of application for bail were both served on the Attorney General’s Chambers on February 21st2020 but the state law office did not file any affidavit in opposition but responded on points of law.
Justice Jaiteh disclosed that the statement of offence was defective because the charge did not correspond with the particulars of offence.
He stated that the applicant was arrested on suspicion of robbery with violence and possession of stolen property, remanded in custody and since holding charges are not permitted, the state did not file any summons before the court to permit and facilitate further investigations pending formal charges.
“From September 2019 to February 2020 is six months without trial and he was detained in custody for 177 days without being presented to the court for trial,” the judge queried.
Justice Jaiteh noted that the respondent failed to file an affidavit in opposition to provide factual statements as to why the accused was not arraigned since September 2019.
He revealed that the state failed to file any information before the court which shows that there is no evidence that the applicant is charged with a criminal offence.
Justice Ba Jaiteh stated that courts of law should not embark on speculation and therefore his court would not speculate what charges the state is likely to prefer against Mr Faye.
He held that in the absence of a bill of indictment while considering Section 24(3) (a) of the 1997 Constitution which provides that an accused person is presumed innocent until proved guilty, he has no option but to grant Mr Faye bail in the sum of D100,000 secured by a Gambian surety.
Justice Ba Jaiteh further ordered that Mr Faye should attend court at each hearing and is bound to keep the peace and not to commit an offence pending the determination of his trial.
He also ordered that the bail will lapse after 30 days from the date of his order if the state fails to file a bill of indictment.