Trial of former NIA officials stalls

Tuesday, March 07, 2017
The criminal trial involving nine ex-NIA officials could not proceed yesterday before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court in Banjul.

It would be recalled that the former officials of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, were arraigned before the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit felony and murder on 23 February 2017, before magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

The accused persons are Yankuba Badjie, Louis Gomez, Saikou Omar Jeng, Haruna Suso, Yusupha Jammeh, Lamin Lang Sanyang, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Babucarr Sallah.

When the matter was called, state counsel Olimatou Danso said the absence of the accused persons in court was because the prisons authority was not aware that the matter was coming up yesterday.

She informed the court that the state was served with the hearing notice, but it was yet to receive the case file from the Inspector General of Police.

She, therefore, craved the court’s indulgence to grant the state a short adjournment, to enable them put their house in order and prosecute the case diligently.

Presiding Judge Kumba Sillah-Camara said it is the duty of the state to ensure the presence of the accused persons in court.

She urged the state to file the necessary information, adding that without the necessary information the court could not proceed with the case.

Lawyer C.E. Mene, defence counsel for the Yankuba Badjie, informed the court that the defence had not been served with any information or bill of indictment regarding the accused persons.

The matter was adjourned until 13 March 2017, for mention.

Author: Bruce Asemota