Magistrate Elizabeth Dunn of Kanifing Magistrates’ Court has transferred the trial of 37 protesters including singer Killa Ace on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction to hear capital offences charges such as arson.
They were accused of setting fire on Gorgi Mboob’s house, the Commander of Anti-Crime Unit in July following the death of Ousman Darboe, who was alleged to have been tortured while in custody.
The Civil Society Group ‘Gom Sa Bopa’ (Believe in Yourself) on Monday says the charge is false. Hence its president Killa Ace wasn’t present at the burning of the house.
The decision to transfer the case was based on the application made by the police prosecutor during the last week’s proceedings.
“There is no dispute on the issue of the jurisdiction of the court to hear charges on arson and related offences since they are capital offences,” she told the Court on Tuesday.
According to her, laws are clear that a magistrate court cannot hear charges on arson, demolition of building and related capital offences. It requires a Special Criminal Division of the high court to deal with cases relating to capital offences, she says.
The magistrate orders that the suspects be put under custody pending their appearance before the High Court but to be given medical care.
High Court is currently on vacation until October. However, a vacation judge will be hearing matters of special importance. It’s unclear whether this case will be heard by the vacation judge – without which, the accused persons will have to be remained remanded at Mile 2 till next month.
Meanwhile, the armed police were dispatched outside the court on Tuesday to stop onlookers believed to be fans of artist-rapper Killa Ace which brought about some commotion.