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GAMBIA: PAULO DJABI & 3 OTHERS TRIAL: PROSECUTION REQUESTS MORE TIME TO PUT THEIR HOUSE IN ORDER

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In the case of Paulo Djabi and three others, the State’s prosecution team has asked the court for extra time to clean house.

To offer some background, the State filed an application with the High Court in September, attempting to appeal the judgment of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, which granted bail to Paulo Djabi and his co-defendants.

Furthermore, the State filed an application with the High Court seeking an injunction to suspend the case’s proceedings and to ask that Paulo Djabi and his co-defendants be remanded in jail until their appeal is considered and resolved.

Following that, Hon. Justice Mahoney of the High Court granted the request, which resulted in the suspension of the proceedings before the Magistrates’ Court.

As the case returns today to address the appeal challenging the Magistrates’ Court’s decision to grant bail to Paulo Djabi and others, Counsel R. Jack, who represents the State, informed the court that they need more time to analyze and advise themselves on the appeal before the court.

“We will need time to advise ourselves on the appeal before the court,” said state counsel R. Jack in court.

In response, the primary lawyer for the accused, Lawyer Sheriff Tambedou, opposed to the state attorney’s motion.
“They (State) have time to advise and prepare themselves because they filed the application.” We have arrived and are prepared to begin with this affair. They have custody of our clients. “My lord has the authority to make orders affecting this application right now,” Counsel Tambedou told the court.

“The court should also exercise its discretion cautiously,” Hon. Justice Acheambonga said to Counsel Tambedou.

Counsel Tambedou contended that the State’s request for a stay of execution is not justified in this case.

“This application was submitted on September 15th, about a month ago. This is the state; they have sufficient resources. They have plenty of time to handle this matter. “My lord, you have the authority to release our clients on bail until the hearing and determination of this application,” said Counsel Tambedou.

Judge Acheambonga insisted on allowing the prosecution time to clean up their act before reaching a judgement. He then gave them time to go through the procedures they had submitted.

Background information about the case

On September 13, 2023, Paulo Djabi and others were charged with possession of prohibited drugs, dealing in prohibited drugs, and conspiracy, all in violation of the Drug Control Act Cap 13:05 Vol. II Revised Laws of The Gambia, 2009, and money laundering, in violation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorist Financing Act of the Gambia 2012.

The defendant pled not guilty to all allegations.

After their attorneys requested for bail, Magistrate Jabang granted bail to the defendants on September 14, 2023. Despite the court’s grant of bail, the accused were re-arrested and held by the DLEAG.

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