Gambia: Gam-Petroleum Case – State Counsel Defends Charges Before Judge

State counsel in the Gam Petroleum lawsuit, Counsel Mballow, has defended the charges filed before the High Court of The Gambia in Banjul against the accused persons.

The case involves Gam Petroleum’s former General Manager and Operations Manager, Saikou Drammeh and Lamin Gassama first and second accused respectively.

The duo is facing three-count charges of economic crimes and five other related charges.

Their arrest and subsequent arraignment came on the sidelines of an alleged scandal that led to massive loss of products (fuel) at the country’s only fuel storage facility, Gam-Petroleum’s Lamin Mandinary Depot, which caused a fuel shortage crisis across the country around October and November 2021.

Representing the duo at the court were Senior Counsel Christopher E. Mene and Counsel B. S. Conteh from amongst a team of other lawyers.

Following the filing of a “no-case-to-answer submission” by the defense in a previous hearing, State Counsel Mballow addressed the court in his bid to debunk the defense claim that the prosecution woefully failed to make a “prima facie case” against the accused persons, and that the essential elements of the charges had not been established.

The state attorney argued before the court that the essential elements of the case had indeed been established.

He noted further that at this initial stage of the case, their duty as prosecution is not to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubt, but to establish the elements of the case.

In a very detailed disclosure before presiding judge, Justice Haddy C. Roche, that took hours, Prosecutor Mballow told the law court that the charges of theft, economic crimes, amongst others, were all valid.

He cited sections from legal documents such as the criminal code to back his argument over the legal validity of the charges.


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