Defence Objects Lawyer Gaye’s Appearance in NIA 9 Trial

By Rohey Jadama

Barrister Christopher E.Mene and the rest of the lawyers representing former officials of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) have yesterday 29 May, 2017 objected to the appearance of Lawyer Antouman Gaye for the state.

The other accused persons are Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, Saikou Omar Jeng, former director of Operations, Haruna Susso, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Baboucarr Sallah,   and  Lamin Lang Sanyang, all operatives of the NIA.

They are charged with twelve counts of criminal offences ranging from conspiracy to murder, Murder, Assaults causing actual bodily harm, Conspiracy to commit misdemeanor, Forgery and Making documents without Authority contrary to the laws of The Gambia. However, they all denied culpability of the charges levied against them.

When the case was called before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High Court, Lawyer Antouman Gaye told the court that he is appearing for the state on the fiat of the Attorney General. He further told the court the fiat is filed on the 26 May, 2017 and that he is appearing with Lawyers Rachael Y. Mendy, Lamin S. Camara, Yassin Seneghore and Combeh Gaye.

While Lawyer C.E Mene and E.Chime appeared for the first accused, Lawyer Patrick Gomez for the 2nd accused, Lawyer M.B Johnson Richards for the 3rd accused, Lawyer S Kenedy for the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8 accused persons, Lawyer U Acheigbe for the 6th accused and Lawyer Patrick Gomez held briefs for Lawyer D. Dago, defence Attorney for the 9th accused.

At this point Lawyer Mene, told the court that they are strongly objecting to the entire appearance of the defence. He said their appearance in the case will jeopardize the fairness and justice of the case. However, the presiding judge told him to come formally.

Responding to the objection of Lawyer Mene, Lawyer Gaye said they heard an oral objection and that they will wait for a formal application to react to it.

At this point, Lawyer Mene told the court that they are not served with the copy of the fiat. The court responded that a copy will be made available to him.

Lawyer Gaye argued that the defence team should file separate briefs because each of them is representing a different accused person. He further argued that if they file a joint application they will object to it.

At this stage, the case was adjourned till Monday 5 June, 2017 at 12noon for mention and ordering of briefs.