By Rohey Jadama
Barrister Combeh Gaye – Coker, defence counsel, has yesterday, 7 April, closed the defence of Mr. Abdoulie Ceesay, the Managing Director of Taranga FM Radio Station, before Justice Eunice O. Dada of the Banjul High Court.
When the case was called, Lawyer Gaye-Coker said she informed the court on the last adjourned date that the accused has opted to remain silent and that they intended to call a witness who is out of the jurisdiction of the court. Unfortunately, she added, the witness is not in court as expected and that under such circumstance they have no choice but to close their defence and would urge the court to proceed with the addresses.
At this juncture, the Director of Public Prosecutiond S.H. Barkun informed the court that he had already filed his address and that it is now left with the defence to file theirs.
Responding to the DPP, Lawyer Gaye-Coker told the court that the clerk attempted to serve her this morning but she refused to accept service because the high court is a court of record and that she is not aware of any order for the DPP to file his address since the defendant’s case is not yet closed. She said she does not understand why the DPP is filing his address before they (defence) close their defence.
The DPP told the court that he made an agreement with Lawyer Segga Gaye on the filing of the address. He argued that there is no legal implication on the accused person and that he did not see any reason for the defence counsel’s objection.
In her ruling, Justice Dada said the record before the court on the 29 February, 2016 is that the accused has opted to remain silent but intends to call a witness to tender some documents and that the court had ruled that if the witness is not present it shall proceed with the addresses.
The presiding judge said it is true that the high court is a court of records but ordered the defence counsel to accept service of the prosecution’s written address dated 6 April, 2016. She further gave 7 working days to both parties and for the defence to reply to the prosecution’s address and for the latter to reply on points of law.
The case was adjourned to 21 April, 2016 at 1pm for adoption of address.