Thursday, July 25, 2013

Former justice minister on bail: As fresh charges were preferred against him

Lamin Jobateh, former justice minister

 High Court in Banjul has released the former justice minister on bail to the tune of D3 million with two Gambian sureties.Jobarteh has moved one step toward his freedom.The former minister has spend several week behind bars until his bail yesterday.
Lamin Jobarteh was indicted yesterday July, 24, with fresh charges ranging from giving false information, economic crime, abuse of office, wrongfully retaking possession of land, forcible entry and operating a business without license before Justice Emmanuel Nkea of the Special Criminal Division.

He is accused of ordering and assisting the arrest and detention of Alieu Barry and Bernd Geoge Diedrich and also Mustapha Kanyi and Yerro Jamanka at Bansag police station.

As the minister and Attorney General, Jobarteh  said to recklessly and willfully caused monetary loss to the Gambia Revenue Authority by constituting a task force, and informed the office of the president that over D200 million had been recovered from tax defaulters and deposited in the GRA Recovery Account with the GT Bank, knowing same to be false.
The charges further accused Jobarteh of giving false information to the commissioner general of GRA, that there was a cabinet approval to establish a task force to re-assess the tax liabilities of defaulters shown in the tax commission report.
Indictments also reveals that Jobarteh being a Gambia citizen breach the provisions of the licenses Act by failing to register his lodge as require by law purposes of taxation, and also operated a lode of 18 rooms without licenses.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges
Lawyer Lamin Camara, after the plea of the accused made a bail application citing the criminal procedure code and the constitution but prosecutor Maurice B. Agiah made an objection.
However, the judge said there is no likelihood of the accused interfering with witnesses as the investigations are over according to the prosecutor.
“Since this court is a court of justice, I hereby grant the accused bail to the sum of three million dalasi,” said Nkea. He further order the accused to surrender all his travelling documents and report to the Yundum police on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Trial continues.
Author: By Binta A Bah

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