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HomeBreaking NewsGAMBIA: 15 CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST PAULO ESCOBAR & 3 OTHERS

GAMBIA: 15 CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST PAULO ESCOBAR & 3 OTHERS

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Paulo Djabi, also known as Paulo Escobar, Nadine Pereira, Mamadu Neto Djabi, and Secuna Jabi were charged with two counts of conspiracy, nine counts of money laundering, two counts of possessing prohibited drugs, dealing in prohibited drugs, and dealing in controlled drugs when they appeared yesterday before Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

After count three was changed, they vehemently denied any culpability.

The prosecuting attorney, Commissioner Ceesay, requested that the matter be referred to the High Court and that the accused be kept in jail until the High Court hearing. He said that the act’s definition of the term “court” is provided by the anti-money laundering provisions. He also argued that the term “act” used in statute really refers to the High Court. “I am aware that the court has the authority to issue bail to the accused with regard to their release on bail. I beg the court to reject the defense attorney’s motion,” he said.

The prosecutor’s request to have the case moved to the High Court was rejected by defense attorney Camara. He said that the issue may be tried in court and that there is no reason the supposed anti-laundering statute should be heard by the High Court. He questioned the meaning of the term “court” and inquired as to why the High Court was considered to be its definition. He said that the Anti-Money Laundering Act does not include any provisions that would support transferring the matter to the High Court. “Except in cases of economic crime and treason, no section of this Act renders the authority of the court futile,” he contended.

Regarding the request for bail, he said that the allegations against the defendant do not carry a death penalty or a term of life in prison. He concluded, “The court does not reject release to punish the accused. The accused’s right to bail is a basic human right.

The case was adjourned until today for ruling.

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