Saturday, December 4, 2021

Court to open Voir Dire in NIA 9 Trial


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By Isatou Ceesay Bah

In the ongoing trial of eight former National Intelligence Agency operatives, Justice Kumba Sillah Camara of the High Court in Banjul ruled that on Monday 31 July 2018 that the court will open a Voir Dire (trial within a trial).

This follows argument yesterday   between Lawyer EE Chime  the defence counsel of the first accused person Yankuba Badjie and the lead prosecution counsel Antouman Gaye about the Yankuba Badjie’s cautionary  statement.

Counsel EE Chime told the court that the first accused’s  cautionary statement was not taken voluntarily. Counsel Antouman Gaye however argued that the first accused should be open to the court at the initial point  and inform the court that his statement was not voluntarily made so that they will know the step to take.

Counsel EE Chime asked the court to give them time for the defence to get the copy of the statement.

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Counsel Gaye further applied for an adjournment for the defence to bring the copy of the statement in court and to help them prepare for the Voir Dire.

The application was granted and the matter is adjourned to Monday 31 July for the 22nd Prosecution Witness Alagie K Manneh a detective sergeant to Testify as to whether the cautionary statement was voluntarily or not.

In the trial within a trial the court will examine through testimonies whether or not the cautionary statement of Yankuba Badgie was obtained without duress or inducement in the presence of an independent witness. If the court decides that this was the case it will admit it and the statement will form part of the evidence before the court. Otherwise, the court will reject it.

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