High Court rules against defence in Yankuba Badjie & co trial

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court in Banjul on 29 July, 2019, ruled against the application made by the defence in the case involving Yankuba Badjie and other former NIA officers for the prosecution to call five of their witnesses who were in the prosecution list of witnesses and did not testify to cross-examine them. She told the court that the prosecution was not bound to call all their witnesses. She subsequently dismissed the application made by the defence.

Defence Counsel Mene informed the court that they needed a copy of the ruling, adding that they would not proceed with the case and he needed time to advise himself. He, however, told the court that he was going to file a no-case submission on behalf of Yankuba Badjie.

Prosecution lead counsel, Antouman Gaye stated that the no-case submission on behalf of Yankuba Badjie had been dealt with already. He argued that Counsel Mene earlier said that he was not going to file a no-case submission only to tell the court that he was going to do so. He objected to the application.

Counsel Mene stood replied that he never told the court that Yankuba Badjie does not wish to file a no-case submission, adding that the no-case submission they made earlier was premature. He submitted that they could not file a no-case submission without cross-examining the five prosecution witnesses who were in the list of the prosecution witnesses.

However, he cited a case which was adjourned for the defence to open their case, further adducing that the defence team applied to file a no-case submission and succeeded because the presiding judge ruled that the defence had a right to file a no-case submission.

But Antouman Gaye informed the court that he was in the case cited by Counsel Mene, adding that Counsel Mene distorted the facts.

Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara intervened and said that Yankuba Badjie was given the opportunity to file a no-case submission but failed to do so. She subsequently refused the application made by Counsel Mene to file a no-case submission, and adjourned the case to 7 October, 2019, for the defence to open their case.

Author: Dawda Faye