Tuesday, November 2, 2010

TREASON TRIAL: PROSECUTION LACK OF WITNESS DETER CASE


 

Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The ongoing treason trial involving five top security officials and three civilians at the High Court in Banjul suffers a set back on Monday 12th April, 2010 after the prosecution failed to produce it’s 11th witness.
When the case was called, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Richard N. Chenge applied for a stand-down after he was called to bring his next witness in the witness box. DPP Chenge requested the court to stand-down the case to enable him produce a printout of a document from the interned to be tendered by the witness.

He suggested that the case be stood-down to 1400GMT, which the defence counsels did not oppose. However, the presiding judge, Emanuel A. Amadi in his ruling stated: “I
will not stand-down the matter to 1400GMT, but rather 1230GMT.”

After the ruling, the accused persons were seen whisked away from the courtroom and later returned at the stipulated time. However, after consultations between the
Defence Team and the presiding judge, the hearing was rescheduled to Tuesday 13th
March 2010 for the DPP to call other witnesses.

The prosecution has so far called ten witnesses in 13 days of proceedings; prominent among them is the Army Camp Commander of Farafenni, Lieutenant Colonel Yorro Jallow, Chief
of Defence Staff of The Gambia Lieutenant Masanneh Kinteh and Principal Witness
Ebrima Marreh.

On Tuesday 13th April, 2010, Defence Counsel Pap Cheyassin Secka applied for an adjournment after the DPP
distributed more than a 100 page document to the defence, as evidence obtained
from the internet to be tendered by the witness.

Senior Lawyer Secka told the court that they must be responsible to show that they are capable of defending their clients. “I did not count it but am sure it is about
a hundred pages,” the defence counsel said in reference to the two separate
printouts issued by the prosecution.

Secka argued that the prosecution has wasted the Court’s time on Friday and on Monday, while arguing that their clients are under custody and the defence has limited time
to study and take instructions on the documents. “Having regards that we have
forgone all other responsibilities and focus fully on this case, I am applying
for the case to be adjourned till Friday 16th April, 2010,” lawyer
Secka submitted.

“The reason for the application is to thoroughly study the documents, take instructions from it and cross-examine the witnesses,” he added.

In reply, the Director of Public Prosecution, Richard N. Chenge said the documents are from what he called ‘the automatic machine’, while acknowledging that he understood
the application made by his learned friend (the defence counsel). “We will
serve them with another printout of calls from Gamcel which will be ready soon.
We did not want to ambush the defence and we are not objecting to the
application because we wand them to prepare,” he said.

“Our clients needs well representation from the defence,” lawyer Secka said in reply.

In his ruling, Justice Emanuel A. Amadi said: “In the interest of justice, I will accept the application of the defence and urge the DPP to serve the defence with any
necessary document.”

The case has been adjourned till Friday 16th April 2010.

Lieutenant General Lang Tombong Tamba, former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), Brigadier General Omar Bun Mbye, Colonel Lamin BO Badjie, Lieutenant
Colonel Kawsu Camara (alias Bombadier), Ex-Deputy Inspector General of Police
Modou Gaye, Gibril Ngorr Secka Gambia’s Deputy Chief de’ Mission in Guinea
Bissau, Businessmen Abdoulie Joof (alias Lie Joof), and Youssef Ezzedine
(alias Rambo) are standing trial on three Counts of Treason and Conspiracy to
Commit Treason. Charges they all denied since taking plea on Friday March 19,
2010. VOL:2 ISSN: 163

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