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Senior anti-narcotics officer in Gambia sentenced

APA

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Acting principal magistrate, Dawda Jallow sentenced Njie after he found him guilty on corruption charges.

The accused was arraigned before the court last July charged with two counts of official corruption, one count of extortion by public officers and one count of abuse of office contrary to the laws of The Gambia.

The particulars of the offence on count one stated that Mbye Njie, between April and July 2011 in Banjul, being employed as a narcotics control officer of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) by virtue of his position had corruptly solicited and received D15, 000 (about $500) from one Bakary Jammeh, on account of settling a case against one Sarjo Jallow out of court.

Count two stated that the accused received D5, 000 (about US $ 3000) from the same individual on account of the release of Jallow on bail in the discharge of his duties as a narcotics control officer.

Count four said Mbye Njie, for the purpose of self gain, did arbitrarily refrain from prosecuting Sarjo Jallow in abuse of his authority.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges but in his ruling the magistrate had concluded that the prosecution in proving its case called five witnesses whilst the accused person had given a sworn testimony.

“It is an entrenched part of our constitution that every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until he or she is proved or has pleaded guilty. This therefore means the burden of proof in a criminal case in both sense of the term lies on the prosecution who must fully discharge its legal burden of proving the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt” Magistrate Jallow said.

The trial magistrate concluded that the totality of evidence before the court showed that the prosecution has discharged its legal burden of proof to the required standard and with respect to the first three counts.

The court had acquitted and discharged the accused on count four,

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