In Yankuba Badjie & Co trial, prosecution asks court to stay proceedings

Friday, October 18, 2019

(Thursday 17 October 2019 Issue)

 The prosecution in the case involving Yankuba Badjie and other former NIA officers has filed before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court in Banjul for stay of proceedings, pending the determination of two appeals filed by the defense at the Appeal Court against the rulings made by the judge. 

It could be recalled that Lawyer Antouman Gaye, the lead prosecutor, on the 7th October, 2019, argued with Defense Counsel Mene on his (Meme’s) submission that he had filed two appeals on behalf of the first accused, Yankuba Badjie, against the rulings made by the judge.

When the case resumed, lawyer Antouman Gaye told the court that he was representing the state along with lawyer Yassin Senghore. Counsels Mene, Chime, Kennedy, Suso and Dago represented the defense.

In his submission, counsel Mene told the court that the first accused, Yankuba Badjie, was not ready to open his defense at this stage. He informed the court that they had filed two appeals, noting that one is against the ruling of the judge with regard the court’s ruling to cross-examine five prosecution witnesses.

He stated that the first accused was going to appeal against the ruling of the judge for not allowing him to file a no-case submission, adding that the two appeals are paramount to the first accused. He noted that they did not want to hold the court to ransom. He said that the appeals would not deter the other accused persons from opening their defense.

Lawyer Antouman Gaye however argued that the reason given by Counsel Mene that the first accused was not ready to open his defense was unmeritorious, stating further that counsel Mene had really held the court to ransom. He submitted that counsel Mene did not apply to the court to stay proceedings. “We totally oppose the submission made by the defense counsel,” he told the court.

Counsel Mene then rose and argued that it was the right of the first accused to appeal against the rulings made by the judge, adding that it was a capital offence. “There is no law that states that the other accused persons cannot open their defense,” he submitted.

The presiding judge, in her ruling, stated that the court would not stall the case because the first accused has filed two appeals. She subsequently ruled that the other accused persons could open their defense.

The sitting of the 14th October, 2019, was adjourned to the 4th November, 2019.     

Author: Dawda Faye