Late Service of Briefs Delays UDP 14 Trial

By Rohey Jadama

The parties in the case of 14 supporters of United Democratic Party (UDP) could not adopt their respective briefs filed on behalf of the accused person’s bail due to late service of briefs by the Prosecution.

The accused persons are Bakary Jammeh, Kaddy Samateh, a mother of a four months old baby, Lele Bojang, Alkali Sanneh, Yaya Fatty, Solo Kurumah (Deceased), Muhammed Singhateh, Kemo Touray, Bakary Marong, Buba Mass, Alagie Saidykhan, Tombong Njie, Modou Sarr, Sheriff Suma and Lamin Dampha.
They  are being tried on seven counts of ‘Conspiracy to commit Felony’, ‘Unlawful Assembly’,’ Riot’, ‘Incitement of Violence’, ‘interfering with vehicle’, ‘Holding a possession without a permit’ and ‘Disobeying order to disperse’, to which they all  pleaded not guilty.

When the case was called before Justice Otaba of the Special Criminal Division of the Banjul High Court, Lawyer Hawa Sisay-Sabally, the lead defence Attorney for the accused persons informed the court that the matter is slated for adoption of briefs, but they were served with the respondent’s brief in court.

She continued “We need to file our reply on points of law and I am asking up to Monday to file “.

However, there was no objection from state counsel B. Jaiteh but he applied for the substantive matter be adjourned to the 17th of October, 2016 for continuation of hearing.

“The procedure in this jurisdiction is when a pending application is before the court it is dealt with and disposed of before date is taken. My application was to be given time till Monday to file a reply on points of law, so date cannot be taken”, submitted Barrister Sisay-Sabally.

In his ruling justice Otaba held that the applicants are given time up to Monday 17th October,2016 to file their reply on points of law and serve the respondent. He further ruled that hearing of the substantive matter shall begin in earnest after the ruling on the application.

The case was adjourned till 18 October, 2016 at 1 pm for adoption of briefs.