By Kebba Jaffang
The governor of West Coast region, Mrs. Siffai Hydara on Tuesday, 9 December, 2014 failed to appear at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court in the ongoing trial of the Caliph General and the Alkalo of Darsilameh Sangajor.
Sheikh Muhideen Hydara the first accused, and Buyeh Touray, the second accused in the trial, are the Caliph General and the “Alkalo” respectively of Darsilameh Sangajor. Governor Siffai Hydara was to appear as the fourth and final prosecution witness.
When the matter was called, Chief Inspector Camara and Inspector Ebrima Sarr appeared for the state whilst lawyer Lamin Mboge and Lamin Camara represented the accused persons.
Addressing the court, Sub Inspector Sarr said they intended to proceed with the next witness who should be the governor of WCR. “I was not in the office yesterday but I left a message for her to appear in court today to give testimony. Since I returned today, I did not receive any message from her and have not seen her in court. We are therefore applying for subpoena to enable us to have her in court because we do not know why she is not in court,” said SI Sarr.
He added that in the same vein, they are applying for adjournment.
Defence counsel, Mboge in responding said it is the case of the prosecution. However, he added that ordinarily he would have objected but in order to save time, energy and resources of this court, they would not object to the application. He said if the prosecution fails to proceed in the next adjournment date, he would apply for the court to close the prosecution’s case, adding that they would advise themselves what decision to take accordingly.
“Why do you need a subpoena?” Asked the trial magistrate. Lawyer Mboge at this juncture intervened, saying that a subpoena is only needed when a witness resists appearing in court. He said the prosecution did say that they have left a message for the Governor but did not make any follow up and this does not mean that she has resisted.
Prosecutor Sarr explained that they want to be on the safe side and that is why they are applying for subpoena. He argued that they had informed the witness but have received no feedback from her to indicate why she wasn’t in court.
At this juncture, the trial magistrate adjourned the matter till 23 December 2014 at 12 noon for the said witness to appear to give her testimony. There would be no subpoena for the witness.
By Kebba Jaffang