NIA 9 trial: Lawyer Gomez not opposing state representation team

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Lawyer Edward A. Gomez yesterday informed the High Court presided over by Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara that he was not opposing the state in appointing special prosecutors in prosecuting the nine former NIA officials.

Lawyer E.A. Gomez, the defence counsel for the 2nd accused person, Louise Leese Richard Gomez, made the remark when the court was being briefed about the situation report of the motions filed before the court.

It would be recalled that on the last court sitting, lawyer Antouman A.B. Gaye and five others announced their representation for the state, adding that they had a fiat (authority) from the state to represent the state in the criminal trial involving the NIA 9.

It was that juncture that Lawyer C.E. Mene and Moses B.J Richards, defence counsel for the 1st and 3rd accused persons, raised objection to their representation for the state as prosecutors.

They were then ordered by the presiding judge to file their briefs accordingly.

During yesterday sittings, lawyer C.E. Mene informed the court that he was served with the state prosecutors briefs some minutes before the court started sitting.

Mr Mene said he has not got the chance to peruse the affidavit in opposition filed by the state and that he need to reply.

For his part, the lead state prosecutors, Antouman Gaye, informed the court that they were served with a 53-paragraph affidavit by the defence.

At this junction, lawyer Uzoma Achigbue, counsel for the 6th accused, suggested that the court could go ahead with the trial, whilst the issue of the opposition to the representation of lawyer Gaye and Co be treated separately.

At this point, lawyer Edward A Gomez, informed the court that he was not opposed to the representation of lawyer Gaye and others as state prosecutors.

Lawyer D. Dago for the 9th accused, Lamin Lang Sanyang, also informed the court that he was not opposed to the representation of Gaye and Co as state prosecutors.

The matter was then adjourned until 12 June 2017, for adoption of briefs on the issue of defence opposition to the state prosecutors.

The accused persons are Yankuba Badjie, former director general of NIA; Loiuse Leese Richards Gomez, Saihou Omar Jeng, Babucar Sallah, Yusupha Jammeh, Haruna Susso, Tamba Mansary, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang.

They are being tried on multiple offences of conspiracy to murder, murder, assaults causing actual bodily harm, forgery making false documents among others.

The State had earlier on called two witnesses who were cross-examined by the defence before the Attorney General and Minister of Justice appointed state prosecutors to take over the case. 

Author: Bruce Asemota