Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Lawyer For Ex-NIA Operations Director Pull Out From Case


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By Nelson Manneh

Lawyer Ibrahim Jallow, the defence attorney for Sheik Omar Jeng alias Sir Jeng, an erstwhile Director of Operations at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has told the court that he has withdrawn from his representation of his client.

Jeng is charged along with six other ex-NIA chiefs standing charges on 25 criminal offences including torture, murder, conspiracy to commit felony, assault causing grievously bodily harm, making false documents, among others though they all deny culpability.

The accused persons are; Yankuba Badjie, an ex-director of the NIA, Sheikh Omar Jeng, an ex-director of operations at the NIA, 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.

Yesterday, 7th May 2019 the case did not proceed because the third accused person was without a lawyer and the requirement for the criminal procedure of the Gambia includes the accused persons facing capital offences to appear with a legal practitioner.

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When the case was called before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High court, all the accused person were legally represented except Sir Jeng.

Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara told the court that the case cannot proceed owing to the third accused person appearing without a lawyer.

She urged Sir Jeng to secure a lawyer of his choice or seek assistance from Legal Aid. In his reply, Sir Jeng told the court that he is trying his best to secure a lawyer and thereby appealed for the court to give him at least two weeks in order to secure one.

The lead prosecutor, Lawyer Antouman Gaye in his response told the Court he does not have any objection.

At this juncture, the court granted Sir Jeng two weeks adjournment to secure the services of a lawyer. The matter was subsequently adjourned till the 20th of May 2019 for the cross-examination of PW 35, Habibatou Jallow, whose transcript of audios in the external hard drive were recorded during the interview of some officers in connection to the demise of the Late Ebrima Solo Sandeng was admitted in evidence at the previous sitting of the court.

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