Wednesday, August 12, 2020

IN THE NIA CASE: Lawyer for EX- NIA Director of Operations Applies for ‘No Case to Answer’ Submission

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By Nelson Manneh

Lawyer S. Kenedy, Defence Counsel for Ex-NIA Director of Operations has filed his application for a ‘no case to answer’ submission in the ongoing criminal trial involving former Intelligence Chiefs.

Sheik Omar Jeng, an Ex-Director of Operations of the former National Intelligence Agency (NIA), is charged together with eight other former Intelligent Chiefs on a twenty-five count criminal charge which includes murder, torture, and conspiracy to commit felony among others.

When the case was called on Tuesday June 17th 2019 before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High Court, Lawyer S. Kenedy told the Court that he has filed his application for a ‘no case to answer’ submission and the State has responded to him.

Council for the third accused person told the Court that the response made by the state was late and he could not respond to them on points of Law. He urged the Court to give him time to write his response to the state (Prosecution).

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Lawyer Antouman A.B. Gaye, the lead prosecutor in the trial in his response to Lawyer S. Kenedy’s, said he has no objection to the request made by the Counsel for the third accused person.

At this juncture, the case was adjourned to 24th June 2019 for further hearing.

A ‘No case submission’ is made when the defense deems that the prosecution has no evidence, or lacks sufficient legal grounds to make a case against a defendant (accused person).

The accused persons in this criminal trial are: Yankuba Badjie, an ex-director of the NIA; Sheikh Omar Jeng, an ex-director of operations of the NIA and the rest are Baboucar Sallah, Haruna Suso, Tamba Mansareh, Lamin Darboe, and Lamin Lang Sanyang. The 2nd accused person Louise Gomez, an ex-deputy director of the said agency, passed away in Government custody, during the course of the trial. However, Yusupha Jammeh, the 6th accused person was discharged by the Court, upon the State’s application.

It took the prosecution nearly two years, 35 witnesses and several exhibits to prove the guilt of the accused persons, before closing their case.

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