Thursday, May 26, 2022

Court Gives Lawyers in NIA Case 28 days to File their Addresses

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By Mariama Marong

Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High Court has given lawyers prosecuting 7 former intelligence officers 28 days to file their address as the case nears judgement.

The court set aside 14 February 2021 for the adoption of the prosecution lawyers’ brief of argument. After the adoption of brief, the court would then set date for judgement.

The accused persons are facing 25 criminal charges including murder, torture, conspiracy to commit felony and accessory after the fact of murder among others. The prosecution team of lawyers have called over 30 witnesses, who have all testified in the case. The witnesses include victims of 14 April 2016 UDP demonstration, police officers, intelligence officials and forensic experts among others.

Six of the seven accused persons were not in court. Lamin Lang Sanyang, a medic was the only accused person present in court. The other accused persons have asked the Judge to recuse herself from the case, but she overruled them.

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The case is nearing completion after almost five years of trial. This is the longest high profile case in the courts.

The prosecution team is headed by Lawyer Antouman A.B. Gaye and the other lawyers in the team are Rachel Y. Mendy, Lamin S. Camara, Yassin Senghore and Combeh Gaye.

The accused persons are Yankuba Badjie, Sheikh Omar Jeng, Baboucar Sallah, Tamba Masireh, Haruna Suso, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang. Louis Gomez, a former deputy director general of the National Assembly lost his life in prison during the course of this trial while Yusupha Jammeh was discharged by the Court.

In this case, all the lawyers who used to represent the accused persons withdrew their representation. The accused persons have been asked to stay at Mile 2 by the Judge for their failure to comply with her orders. The accused persons, except Lamin Lang Sanyang, refused to enter the dock the last time they came to court. They remain seated despite the Judge’s order that they must get in the dock. This protest is as a result of the Judge’s insistence to continue with the case despite the call for her recusal in the case by the accused persons.

The case was adjourned to Monday, 14 February 2022 for the adoption of briefs of the prosecution team.

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