Wednesday, November 30, 2022

IN THE NIA 9 TRIAL: Court Warns Audience To Respect The Law


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By Alpha Yagouba Jallow

The Banjul High Court presided over by Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara, on Tuesday, warned the audience that they should be law abiding and respectful to the dictates of the law; that any person caught acting otherwise towards the accused persons, will face the full force of the law.

She urged the security personnel to make amendments in their work so as to handle the situation to the best of their ability, and avoid the audience to reach the accused persons.

Justice Sillah Camara made these remarks on the 13th of February 2018, in Court when Counsel for the third accused person Lawyer Ibrahim Jallow, brought it to the notice of the Court that his client and others are pelted with stones and receive insults from some people in the audience; that this has been habitual of the audience after every adjournment of the case; that his client and other witnesses on trial have been booed and sometimes pelted with stones when they are escorted to their vehicle, after every adjournment. Counsel Jallow said he has notified the security personnel in charge of the safety of the witnesses on trial and they promised him that they will handle the situation; that

since then, the situation has not been brought to a halt; that the Court should note that this is an unfavorable situation to his client and the rest of the accused persons.

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Meanwhile, the defence Counsel for the 1st accused person, Lawyer Christopher E. Mene, continued with the cross examination of the tenth prosecution witness (PW 10), Pap Sering Mboob.

Pap Sering said he used the back gate at around 1am, to go home; that by that time, Solo Sandeng was lying motionless and a fan was used to provide him with air.

“Did you try to find out why the fan was on and why he was motionless?’’ asked Lawyer Mene.

“No,” responded the witness.

The witness told the Court that the NIA headquarters has a front gate that opens towards Marina Parade; that the road at Marina Parade is a tar road. He said he used the back gate because he has a motor-bike as his means of transport. He agreed with Lawyer Mene’s statement that the back gate does not have a tar road.

“Is it not true that the back gate opens towards the beach?’’ Lawyer Mene asked.

“Yes”, the witness replied.

“Is it not true that the road that leads to the beach around that time of the night, is usually dark”? Lawyer Mene asked.

“No” the witness answered.

“Is it not correct that you can only sign out at the front gate of the NIA campus”? Lawyer Mene quizzed.

“That’s not true; I don’t sign out when going home. Sometimes I sign in when I come to work but I sometimes don’t sign in”, the witness said.

“Why do you prefer the back gate”? asked Counsel Mene.

“I prefer the back gate because it is near my office”, answered the witness.

“Why don’t you prefer it when coming to office?” asked Lawyer Mene.

“Sometimes I use both gates. Sometimes I use the back and sometimes the front gate,” the witness said.

“If what you said is true, after you finished interviewing Solo, what did you do when Solo Sandeng was tied in your presence?” asked Lawyer Mene.

“I did not do anything. I said nothing and the following day I reported for work. I cannot do anything when Solo was tied”, the witness answered.

The witness denied Lawyer Mene’s claim that he was a suspect of rape and that he had faced a panel who recommended for him to be sacked at the DLEA. The witness said he was dismissed and that he encountered unfair treatment at the DLEA.

The case was adjourned to today, 14th February 2018, at 12 noon, for continuation of cross-examination of PW 10, by Lawyer CE Mene.

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