By Nelson Manneh
Lawyer Christopher E. Mene, the defence counsel for ex-NIA Director General has on 29th May 2019 withdrew the application for a ‘no case to answer’ submission in the ongoing criminal trial involving former intelligence chiefs.
Yankuba Badjie, an ex-Director of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) is charged together with 8 other former intelligence chiefs on twenty-five criminal counts including murder, torture and conspiracy to commit felony among other felonious charges.
It took the prosecution about two years before closing their case after calling 35 witnesses and tendering several exhibits to prove the guilt of the accused persons.
For Lawyer Mene, the prosecution has not established any case to warrant his client (Yankuba Badjie) to be called to open his defence and therefore, he wanted to make a ‘no case to answer’ submission.
When the case was called yesterday, Lawyer Mene told the court that he won’t make the ‘no case to answer’ application.
Lawyer Antouman A.B. Gaye, the lead prosecutor in this trial in response to the withdrawal of the ‘no case submission’ made by lawyer CE Mene said: “I have no objection to the defence’s application to withdraw the ‘no case submission,” adding that the defence have the right to withdraw their request.
No case submission’ is the submission by the defence that the prosecution has no evidence, or lacks sufficient legal grounds, to make a case for the defendant (accused person) to controvert evidence adduced before the Court.
Lawyer CE Mene has now made a fresh application for the statements of five of the prosecution witnesses to be brought.
“The prosecution closed their case and there are some witnesses whose names are in the witnesses’ list and did not appear in court. We want the prosecution to bring their statements to the court so that we can cross- examine them,” the Lawyer Mene said.
Lawyer Anthoman Gaye told the court that he did not think the application for the other witnesses listed in the list of the witnesses who did not appear in court is relevant since the defence has already submitted a no case to answer, but if otherwise let them do it formally.
Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara in her ruling told the defence to apply for their request formally so that they can deal with it properly.
The defence Lawyer CE Mene is to make the application latest on Monday the 3rd of June and the prosecution will also respond latest the 7th of June 2019.
Lawyer S. Kenedy, the Lawyer to Sheikh Omar Jeng, an erstwhile Director of Operations of the NIA has told the court that he will make a ‘no case to answer’ submission in respect to his client.
At this juncture the matter was adjourned till the 17th of June 2091 for continuation.
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.