Friday, July 19, 2019

Prosecution faces difficulty in calling witnesses


By Yankuba Jallow/Nelson Manneh/Isatou Ceesay-Bah

The lead lawyer for the prosecution in the ongoing criminal trial of former intelligence chiefs, Lawyer Antouman AB Gaye has told the High Court that they are facing difficulty in calling witnesses for the case.

“The prosecution wishes to apply for an adjournment till next term. This is because we are encountering certain difficulties regarding the witnesses we intend to call at the ‘voir dire’,” Lawyer Gaye stated.

The court will go into ‘voir dire’ also known as trial within a trial to ascertain whether the cautionary and voluntary statements of Yankuba Badjie, the former Director of the National Intelligence Agency were obtained within the confines of the law. His Lawyer, Emmanuel E. Chime alleged before the presiding Judge, Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court that his client was tortured and forced whilst the cautionary and voluntary statements were recorded at the Brusubi Police Station. The trial within a trial was hampered by the prosecution’s application for an adjournment.

In his application for an adjournment, Lawyer Gaye said one of the witnesses is currently in Cameroon for studies and is expected to come back at the end of this month. Also, Gaye told the court that another witness is unreachable.

There was no objection from the defence and the court ruled in favour of the prosecution.

In her ruling, Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara held that since both the defence and prosecution counsels conveyed to the court that it would be difficult for them to continue with the case during the court’s vacation, she adjourned the matter to the 9th October 2018 at 1 pm for the ‘voir dire’ to commence.

The accused persons Yankuba Badjie, former Director General, Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, Saikou Omar Jeng, former Director of Operations, Baboucarr Sallah, Haruna Susso, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang.

They are standing trial on twenty-five charges ranging from murder, grievous bodily harm, conspiracy to commit a felony, accessory, forgery, making documents without authority, fabricating evidence, making false death certificate, disobedience to statutory duty, abduction in order to murder and abduction in order to subject persons to grievous harm.

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