By Yankuba Jallow
Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara, the trial judge in the ongoing criminal case against former director of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and six others on Monday 7th December said the case should not delay any further.
Her statement came following an attempt by the State to get a two weeks adjournment in order to get a medical report concerning Lamin Darboe’s health status.
Darboe was missing in court for several court sittings owing to fractures on his legs. He was brought to court prison by wardens while he was sitting on a wheelchair and was helped to walk to get to his seat.
“How are you now?” asked Justice Kumba.
“I am ok,” Darboe replied.
Darboe has broken legs and cannot walk by himself. This came about after he sustained electric suck at Mile II, where he was detained. Before this setback, the case was stayed by the court following an application for stay of proceeding by the prosecution which was granted by the court. The stay was overruled by the Court of Appeal and the trial judge was ordered to resume the case as it caused unnecessary delay to the accused persons. Since then, the case couldn’t proceed.
The long standing trial began in 2017 and has suffered several delays.
All the accused persons were present in court on Monday 7th December including Lamin Darboe, but the case couldn’t proceed owing to two reasons. The first is the absence of lawyers from the National Agency for Legal Aid (NALA) and the other is the application by Lawyer Antouman AB Gaye for the prosecution to bring the medical report of Lamin Darboe, one of the accused persons.
Lawyer Gaye for the prosecution insisted that they have to obtain the medical report before the case continues.
One of the accused persons, Yankuba Badjie stood up and informed the court through his Lawyer that the State has never taken Lamin Darboe to hospital. Badjie said Darboe is left at Mile 2 like that.
Lawyer Gaye sought an adjournment for two weeks to enable him secure a medical report through the State law office, but all the defence lawyers objected saying it should be one week considering the delay the case has suffered.
The trial judge said as much as the medical report is very important, the case should not delay any further as she adjourned the case to 14th December 2020 at 1 pm for Sheikh Omar Jeng to enter his defence. She stressed that the State should endeavour to get the medical report on or before the next adjourned date. A hearing notice will be served to NALA to ensure that they appear in court.
The accused persons were Yankuba Badjie, the former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Sheikh Omar Jeng, ex-Director of Operations NIA, Baboucar Sallah, , Haruna Suso, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang.
The accused persons are facing 25 criminal charges before the high court including conspiracy to commit felony, assault causing serious bodily harm, murder and making false documents amongst others. The accused persons all denied any wrongdoing.