Thursday, July 29, 2021

Judge in NIA Trial Issues Warning to the Public as Sheikh Omar Jeng says Someone Threatened to Kill Them


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By Mariama Marong & Yankuba Jallow

A judge of the Banjul High Court, who is presiding over the case of 7 former staff of the NIA charged with the murder of former Organizing Secretary of the UDP Solo Sandeng, has warned people that she will not take it lightly if anyone takes the law into his/her hand and hurt any of the defendants.

Justice Kumba Sillah Camara issued the warning after Sheikh Omar Jeng, the former deputy director of operations at the NIA on Monday, 25th January informed the Banjul High Court that on the last adjourned date of the case, they were threatened by a man who said he will kill him after the case.

This is not the first time the issue of threat has been raised in this case and the court has always maintained its position that no one should take the law in their own hands.

Jeng said the person who made the threatening remarks was in court and made the threat after the end of the case last week Wednesday. Jeng said after the man made those threatening remarks inside the court, the prison officers heard him and this was why they were kept inside the court for about 30 minutes after the case. He added this was done to protect them. The man in question, according to Jeng was part of the audience.

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After hearing Jeng’s statement, Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara said the people should allow the court to adjudicate and that she won’t take it light if anyone takes the law into their own hands.

The prosecution was supposed to continue with their cross-examination of Mr Jeng, but they informed the court that they have no more questions for the security officer.

The court invited Baboucar Sallah to open his defence, but his Lawyer, Kebba Baldeh requested a week adjournment from the court to enable him prepare. There was no objection from the prosecution and the matter was adjourned to 8th February 2021 at 1 pm for Baboucar Sallah, the fourth accused person to open his defence.

Jeng together with six others are facing 25 criminal counts including the alleged murder of UDP’s Solo Sandeng, torture of some of the 14th April 2016 UDP demonstrators and conspiracy. They all denied any wrongdoing and the case has been ongoing for about 4 years now. Jeng was arrested in February 2017 and until now he is under custody.

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