By Lamin Sanyang
The Director of Special Litigation, Simon Abi, yesterday, Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 announced the closing of the prosecution’s case against Mambury Njie, former Minister of Finance, who is facing charges of Economic Crimes before Justice Mikailu Abdullah of the Criminal Division of the Banjul High Court.
This disclosure was made after the testimony of the second prosecution witness (PW2), Abdoulie Cham, former Director of the Geology Department. The former Finance Minister faces two counts of economic crimes including neglect of official duty, charges he denied.
When the case was mentioned yesterday, the state prosecutor announced their intention of closing the case because there is no other witness to testify apart from the two witnesses that had already testified in the trial.
In the meantime, Defense lawyer Lamin S. Camara made an application to make an oral submission of a ‘no-case to answer’ which was objected to by the state prosecutor, who argued that the submission cannot be made in the charge under the Economic Crime Act. He referred the court to the ruling delivered by Justice Joseph Ikpala of the Brikama High Court on the matter. He urged the defendant to enter his defense.
“I vehemently disagreed that the law does not allow the submission,” said defense lawyer Camara.
Lawyer Camara argued that the defense can make the no-case submission as stated by the laws of the land. He submitted that the said ruling cited by the state prosecutor cannot in any way prevent the submission.
At this juncture, the trial judge said he would hear the address on the matter first to decide whether or not to admit the application before the defense would make an address of no-case submission. The matter was adjourned to Monday, 23rd June 2014, for the address.