25 Westfield Arrestees Trial Stalls at Mansakonko High Court Due to Absence of Accused Persons in Court

The high court in Mansankonko on Wednesday, June 01, 2016 adjourned the trial of the 25 defendants who were arrested atFatoumata JawaraFatou CamaraNogoi Njie Westfield on 14 April, including Fatoumatta Jawara and Nogoi Njie, the chairperson and deputy chairperson respectively of the women’s wing of United Democratic Party (UDP), as the accused persons were not brought before the court.

When the case was called, A.M Yusuf and Sheriff Kumba Jobe appeared for the state whilst lawyer Borry S. Touray represented the accused persons in absentia before Justice Simone Ateh Abi.

The Lower River Region (LRR) high court would have presided over the matter for the first time after it was transferred from the Banjul high court where the case was initially mentioned in April. They were, however, denied bail by the said court.

The proceeding was expected to witness some amendments on the indictment bill, however, that did not materialize due to the absence of the accused persons.

Addressing the court, the state prosecutor said they wished to proceed with the matter but the accused persons were not in court.

“Have the accused persons been put on notice?” asked the presiding judge.

In response, State counsel Yusuf said he is not sure whether the accused persons were put on notice.

He therefore urged the court to direct an order to the prisons to that effect.

At this juncture, the judge adjourned the case to 15th June 2016 at 11 am for mentioning of the trial. He also ordered that the accused persons should be put on notice before the said date to enable them to appear in court..