Judge withdraws from the case of Westfield Protestors

By Rohey Jadama

Justice O. Ottaba , of the special Criminal Division of the Banjul High Court,  yesterday 17 May,2016.said he has  decline further Fatoumata JawaraFatou CamaraNogoi Njiehearing in the criminal trial involving Mrs. Fatoumatta Jawara, the Chairperson of the Female wing of the United Democratic Party(UDP) and 24 others.

When the case was called, the Director of Public Prosecution appeared for the state, while Lawyer Antouman Gaye, Amie Bensouda, Hawa Sisay-Sabally, R.Y.Mendy, Yassin Seneghore,  and Neneh Cham announced their representation for all the accused persons.

At this stage the trial Judge told a hushed courtroom that he has declined further hearing in the case and that the case file shall be forwarded to the Chief Justice for re-assignment.

The 24 other accused persons are Lamin Sonko, Bubacarr Gitteh, Baba Ceesay, Modou Touray, Ebrima Janko Ceesay, Lamin Camara, Alhagie                         Jammeh, Lansana Beyai, Lamin Jatta, Lamin Marong, Ebrima Jadama, Pa Ousman Njie,  Kekuta Yabo, Bubacarr Jah, Muhammed Jawneh, BubacarrTouray, Saderr Secka , Alhagie Fatty, Fatou Camara, Modou Ngum, Kafu Bayo, Kalilou Saidykhan and Ebrima Jabang.

The accused persons are facing 7 counts of ‘Unlawful assembly’, ‘Riots’, ‘Incitement of violence’, ‘Riotously interfering with vehicles’, ‘Holding a procession without a permit’ , ‘Disobeying an order to disperse from an unlawful procession’ and ‘Conspiracy to commit felony’ and to which they all pleaded not guilty.

It could be recalled that at the last adjournment, the trial judge ruled that the outcome of the application on the case of Darboe and others regarding whether or not to refer counts 5 and 6 to the Supreme Court will determine the application made by counsels in this case.

After their plea, their lawyers filed bail application for them which was denied by the court.

The case was indefinitely adjourned pending its re-assignment to another judge.