By Alhagie Jobe
The Prosecutor in the trial of 28 Gambia government officials who were arrested and charged with neglect of official duties and abuse of office, on Tuesday dropped charges against 17 out of the 28 accused person and all of them have since been freed on bail by the Banjul Magistrate court.
Police prosecutor Assistant Superintendent A Manga handling the case applied for an amendment in the charges pursuant to Section 169(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code and for the charges against the 17 personnel to be dropped and for them to be discharged.
The accused persons freed include permanent secretaries, directors and assistant secretaries who were all standing trial on two counts of criminal offenses ranging from neglect of official duties and abuse of office. They are Kaiding Sambou, Bernard Mendy, Cherno Njie, Yira Jammeh, Abdoulie T.B Jarra, Aminata Semega Janneh, Abdoulie Jallow, Fafa Sanyang, Fatou Matta Bah, Momodou Saidyleigh, Aja Fatou Gaye, Habib T.B Jarra, Lamin Sisey, Naffie Barry, Famara Darboe, Roheyatou Kah and Sanna Gassama.
The defence though did not object to this application, but applied for all travel documents and title deeds as part of the bail condition to be returned to the discharged persons.
After the application was granted and the accused persons freed, Prosecutor Manga further applied for an adjournment of the case, saying they would be filing new charges. He said they have already prepared an amended charge which, he said contained names of the remaining accused persons namely Abdoulie Jallow, Ousainou Jobarteh, Cherno Omar Barry, Abdoulie KM Jallow, Abdoulie Jallow, Lamin Camara, Lamin Sanneh, Tijan Jeng, Jerreh Sanyang, Malang Jammeh and Momodou Lamin Jammeh, who are still being held in custody.
They were equally been accused of abusing their offices by identifying the wrong vehicles for auction, accusations they all denied.
The case is said to be adjourned to September 7, 2016 at 11am for hearing.