In Caliph General and Co Case, Defence Files Appeal at High Court

By Kebba Jeffang

Lawyer Antouman Gaye, the lead counsel in the criminal trial involving Sheikh Muhideen HydaraSheikh Muhideen Hydara, the Caliph General of Darsilameh Sangajor and Buyeh Touray, the village “Alkalo,” has asked the magistrate’s court to stay off proceedings and wait for the outcome of the appeal he filed at the High Court contesting the decision of the subordinate court that overruled an application he made before it.

He made this submission in a crowded court room on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at the Brikama Magistrates’ court.

When the case was called, Sub-Inspector Ebrima Sarr appeared for the state whilst Lawyer Gaye, Counsel Lamin Mboge and Counsel Lamin S. Camara, all appeared for the accused persons.

Counsel Gaye told the court that he was absent on the last adjourned date. He said following his absence, counsel Mboge made a submission and the court eventually dismissed the application and the case was adjourned for hearing.

“As a result of that and the instruction of our client, we have filed an appeal in the High Court. We have also filed a summon in the same court praying that the High Court may order the stay off the proceeding of this court pending the appeal. Out of respect for this court, we have decided to come today to give that information to the court,” said lawyer Gaye.

Gaye further said: “Ordinarily, when the counsel speaks from the Bar, there should be no doubt as to what he or she is saying. We have the copies of the appeal and summon that were filed in the High Court with us.”

He surrendered the two documents to the court. He added that as a matter of law, the magistrate court is subordinate to the High Court which is a subject to the appeal. He urged the court to stay off the proceedings.

In reply to the submission, Sub Inspector Sarr told the court that he is not intending to reply to the submission because he is not the actual prosecutor of the case. He asked for adjournment so that the actual prosecutor could reply.

“The reason being, Chief Inspector Lamin Touray is the prosecutor and the one handling this matter and he has been transferred to New Yundum police station as the head of the prosecution unit. The incoming prosecutor who should replace him has not yet arrived. By the next adjourned date, when the replacement comes, he will reply. And if there is no replacement, then I will devote myself to reply,” said SI Sarr.

However, Lawyer Gaye argued that as far as record is concerned, Sarr did not say he was holding brief for anyone but has addressed the court that he is representing the IGP. He said he left everything in the hands of the court.

In his ruling, the trial magistrate adjourned the matter to 29th September, 2014 at 12pm to hear the reply from either the replacement or SI Sarr.

It could be recalled that Lawyer Gaye has earlier applied for the stay off proceedings and referral of the case to the Supreme Court which has the original jurisdiction for the interpretation of constitutional issues.

This application was overruled by Principal Magistrate Omar Cham of the Brikama magistrate’s court on the ground that his court has the power to hear the case since there is no ambiguity in the matter.

Sheikh Muhideen Haydara and Buyeh Touray are charged with two counts of ‘disobedience to lawful order’ and ‘Conspiracy to commit felony’. Both of them pleaded not guilty. This came after the duo spent three nights in police custody upon observing Eid-Ul Fitr prayer on the 29 instead of 28th September, 2014 as announced by the Supreme Islamic Council.