Ex-NIA 9 trial adjourned as Attorney General seeks more time to reorganize house

The ongoing trial of the nine former officers of the National Intelligence Agency on Wednesday suffered a setback and adjourned as requested by the Attorney General to re-organize its house.

 

During Wednesday’s sittings, the state was supposed to call in the third Prosecution witness in the trial.

 

When the case was called, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution (DDPP) M.B Abubakar informed the court of constraints by circumstances that arise in the handling of the matter.

 

He informed the court that the Attorney General is carrying out an organization in respect of the conduct of this case which involves other State Counsels joining in or taking over the case which will require time to study the case file.

 

He appealed for two weeks adjournment to enable Counsels to study the case file for diligent and continued prosecution of this matter.

 

Lawyer C.E Mene standing for the first accused person Yankuba Badjie, made no objections saying it is the court’s discretion.

 

Defense Counsel Moses Ritchards standing in for the 3rd accused person Sheikh Omar Jeng said the DDPP intimidation is not tangible citing the Press Conference the Attorney General convened in which it announced that it needed time to study and reorganized itself in this case. He said with all that time and the AG is still not ready in studying the case, the accused persons should be granted bail.

 

However, Justice Kumba-Sillah Camara was quick to react reminding Defends Counsel Ritchards that the offense is not bailable.

 

Edward Gomez, Counsel for 2nd accused person Louis Ritchard Leese Gomez, without any objections to DDPP application also reminded the court that this case is a high profile case that captures the attention of people both nationally and internationally. He told the court that this case is also a test for the international community to see that the Gambia abides by the rule of law and the democracy that is been cherished and uphold.

 

“However, I will not hesitate to call the attention of the court to Section 24 of the Constitution which says the fundamental rights and freedom should be guaranteed for all the accused person, which freedom is sacrosanct and not subjected to negotiation” he said.

 

He respectfully urged the court to be mindful of the fact that a long adjournment may infringe on the rights of the accused persons.

 

However, Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara adjourned the case to May 15th, 2017 for mentioning and May 22nd, 2017 for continuation of hearing.

In this article

Join the Conversation