Monday, February 24, 2020

Touray’s Lawyer Argues with State Counsel Over Application for adjournment

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By Yankuba Jallow

Lawyers for the defence and prosecution in the ongoing murder trial of Yankuba Touray on Monday argued bitterly over an application for adjournment of the matter.

Lawyer A.N. Yusuf for the State said the application for adjournment of the case came at the time when the witness was answering almost all the questions he asked in the negative.

Prosecution witness Lamin Ndour in his testimony, said he joined the Gambia National Gendarmerie in the year 1991 and became a member of the Gambia National Army when some of the Gendarmerie were deployed to the Army. N sdour aid he was the driver of Mr. Touray between 1994 and 1996, adding that the accused person was his boss.

“Do you remember sometime in 1995 while you were the driver of Mr. Yankuba Touray whether something occurred in that period?” Counsel Yusuf asked.

“I can’t remember,” the witness answered.

He said while serving as the driver of Mr. Touray, he used to take him to office in the morning and back home when he closed from work.

“Could you remember when you drive home without Mr. Touray?” the prosecutor asked.
“Yes, it usually happens,” Ndour replied, adding that he can’t remember the number.

The witness said sometimes he used to go home and later return to pick the accused person from his office.

“Was there any time when you were sent home and you did not go back to pick Mr. Touray?” Yusuf asked.

“I can’t remember. It is possible, but I can’t remember,” the witness said.
“Can you tell the court a particular instance when you were sent home and you never return to pick him (Touray),” Yusuf asked.
“I can’t remember,” the witness replied.

Lawyer Yusuf applied for an adjournment and initially refused to give the reason why he sought the adjournment.

Lawyer A. Sisoho objected to the application saying the Counsel’s desire is for the court to grant them adjournment so that he will tell the witness what to say in the next adjourned date. He said before the court adjourns a matter, the applicant must give a compelling reason why he seeks the adjournment.

“Counsel, please continue with the case. We still have time. You want the court to grant you this adjournment because the witness has nothing to tell the court. You want to tell him what to say,” Sisoho said.

Justice Ebrima Jaiteh asked the prosecutor why he wanted the adjournment. In his reply, Counsel Yusuf said: “I just want the adjournment because we will be coming back tomorrow and I will continue with the questioning.”

The trial judge said before he grants the adjournment Counsel Yusuf should give him a compelling reason why he sought the adjournment.

“Counsel, please continue with your examination of the witness. We still have time. In fact, don’t worry about time. Ask the witness the questions if you have. If you don’t have questions to ask the witness please let’s allow the defence to cross-examine the witness – let us make progress,” he said.

Counsel Yusuf in his reply said he can’t mention the reason because it was personal. The matter was adjourned to 3rd February 2020 at 2 pm for the continuation of Ndour’s testimony.

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