By Rohey Jadama
Justice Simeon Ateh Abi of the Banjul high court on Thursday, 17 December, 2015 refused the application of the defence to expunge Fatou Drammeh’s testimony in the trial of Abdoulie Ceesay, the Managing Director of Taranga FM Radio. He is charged with Sedition and Publication of false news.
Ms. Drammeh, a protocol officer under the office of the president, had earlier testified as second prosecution witness (PW2) but was not available for continuation of cross-examination.
When the case was called, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) appeared for the State, whilst Lawyer Combeh Gaye-Coker announced her representation for the accused person.
In a marathon ruling, Justice Abi said on the 11th November, 2015 the DPP applied for Ms. Drammeh’s evidence to be interposed, which was granted by the court. He added that at the close of the prosecution’s case, Defence counsel Gaye-Coker applied for PW2’s evidence to be expunged because she was not available for continuation of cross examination.
Justice Abi said the DPP in response argued that the witness has been cross-examined substantially but not completely and further told the court to maintain the evidence until when the court is evaluating the case.
The trial judge added that he heard listened to both parties and that he had gone through PW2’s evidence.
“The application to expunge PW2’s evidence is refused and the weight of her evidence shall be evaluated at the end of the trial,” ruled Justice Abi.
At this juncture, Barrister Gaye-Coker told the court that she wished to apply for bail for her client. The DPP told the court that the accused cannot apply for bail thrice.
The trial judge told the DPP that the court is obliged to hear the bail application.
Justice Abi at this point adjourned the case for the defence to continue on the following dates i.e. 28th January at 1pm, 1stFebruary at 11am and 2nd February, 2016 at 11am respectively. He also pointed out that the bail application of the accused shall be heard anytime it is filed.