NIA 9 Trial Adjourned for Adoption of Briefs

By Rohey Jadama

Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High Court has yesterday 18 July, 2017 adjourned the case involving Mr. Yankuba Badjie, the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and eight others for adoption of briefs.

Lawyers Antouman Gaye, Rachel Y. Mendy, Lamin S. Camara, Yassin Senghore and Combeh Gaye announced their representation for the state.

Lawyer Gaye the lead prosecutor informed the court that Sheriff Tambedou is no longer part of this team and he has returned his representation in this matter.

The Attorney for Mr. Badjie, informed the court that  his client has filed a brief in respect of the application. He further informed the court that the application is filed out of time due to some circumstances.

Responding to the application of lawyer Mene, Barrister Gaye said his learned friend has not complied with the court order. He said rather than doing it verbally, he should file a motion and affidavit giving his reasons and then asked for an extension of time.

Lawyer Mene said the brief has been filed out of time and that he is humbly applying for an extension of time to file the brief out of time. He said the brief has been filed before the court and counsel has been served.

“We are objecting to the oral application, my learned friend has said that we are been served but l do not regard it as a proper service. I’m objecting to the service”, argued Lawyer Gaye.

Barrister Mene responded that counsel cannot reject service after accepting service.  At this juncture, the trial judge intervened and ordered the prosecution to accept service so as to proceed with the case.

After accepting service, Lawyer Gaye objected to the oral application for the extension of time. He continued “I submit that no good and sufficient reasons are given to this court as to why this brief is out of time by fourteen days. The court order was given 29 June and my learned friend said when the order was made he was away but is silent as to when did he come back”.

Lawyer Gaye further argued that the brief is not made in good faith and he urged the court to dismiss the brief because no sufficient or cogent reasons have been given. He finally urged the court not to allow the brief.

Responding to Lawyer Gaye, Counsel Mene said the application is subject to the discretion of the court and further urged the court to grant the application in the interest of justice.

The Judge at this stage rose up for 15 minutes.  Upon resumption, the trial judge in her ruling said in the interest of justice she will grant the application of the defence counsel.

Ten (10) days was granted to the prosecution to file their briefs and 24 hours was given to the defence to also file their brief. The case was subsequently adjourned till 31 July, 2017 at 12noon for adoption of briefs.

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, Baboucarr Sallah and Lamin Lang Sanyang.

They are jointly 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.