Former NIA officials’ trial adjourned

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The criminal trial involving the State against the embattled former officials of the defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was adjourned by Kumba Sillah-Camara J. at the instance of the prosecution, yesterday.

Yankuba Badjie, Louie Richard Leese Gomez, Sheihk Omar Jeng, Babucarr Sallah, Yusupha Jammeh, Haruna Susso, Tamba Mansary, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang are defending a 26 count charges including abduction, conspiracy to commit murder, murder, assault causing grievous bodily harm, making false document without proper authority among others.

When the matter was called at yesterday’s sitting, the presiding judge said she received letters from defence counsels E. E. Chime and C.E. Mene that they missed their flights to The Gambia so indulged the court to grant a short adjournment of the matter.

The presiding judge also observed that defence lawyers Ibrahim Jallow and Uzoma Achigbue were not present in court but after Defence counsel D. Dago announced his appearance for his client and holding brief for Babucarr Gomez, the counsel for the 2nd accused person told the court that he did not receive any instruction from any of the absentee defence counsels.

Justice K.S. Camara suggested that since most of the lawyers were indisposed, it would be wise to take a date but said the prosecution could proceed if it so wished then immediately Defence counsel Ibrahim Jallow walked into the courtroom.

The lead counsel for the prosecution, lawyer A.A.B. Gaye said they were ready to proceed with the testimony of the seventh prosecution witness, Babucarr Njie, a photographer attached to the State Intelligence Service (SIS).

In his brief evidence, the witness told the court that he wasn’t present at the hall during the interview of the five detainees but he coordinated their video recording.

Defence Counsel Ibrahim Jallow objected to the prosecuting counsel, Lamin S. Camara’s line of leading the witness which led to submissions and counter submissions from both counsels.

The presiding judge overruled Defence Counsel Ibrahim Jallow’s objection and asked Lawyer L.S. Camara to continue with the witness.

At this juncture, Lawyer A. A.B. Gaye applied for the court to grant the prosecution a short adjournment which was granted and the matter was adjourned to January 15. 

Author: Bruce Asemota