Gambia’s Solicitor General faces criminal charges

Gambia’s Solicitor General faces criminal charges

Prosecutors have charged the country’s Solicitor General Cherno Marenah with conspiracy for registering deeds of gifts without authority.

Marenah was charged alongside a senior lawyer, Borry S. Touray. According to court documents, Marenah and Touray face four charges: neglect of official duties, obtaining registration by false pretense, making documents without authority, and conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor.

The new charges stem from the registration of deeds in 2012 and mention that the Registrar General’s office at the Ministry of Justice, wilfully procured the registration of a deed of gift in the name of Lamin Trawally knowing the registrations were false.

Marenah got entangled for “neglecting his duties” imposed by the Land Registration of Deeds Act for acknowledgment of the registration of deeds presented to him by Lawyer Borry S. Touray.

The charges spell legal trouble for the Solicitor General, who was already criminally indicted by the former regime of Yahya Jammeh. The new government dropped the charges and reinstated him.

The dropped charges, linked to corruption were said to be politically motivated after Jammeh, who was defrauding the country of oil revenue accused some senior officials of economic crimes over a petroleum contract to a Middle Eastern company.

Marenah and Touray appeared in court last week for fresh charges related to the deeds of gifts before Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie in Banjul but have not taken their plea. Marenah can legally remain in office while under indictment.

The attorney for Marenah and Touray have urged the court to dismiss the charges. “They were not initiated under due process of law,” Rachel Mendy told the court. Mendy also represented those that were entangled the oil scandal last year.

Marenah is the Deputy Attorney General and Legal Secretary of the country. He specializes in handling the government’s appeals when they lose a case in court, argues cases before the Supreme Court and can decide what cases the courts take on.

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