Yankuba Badjie & Co trial resumes, as prosecution, defence argue

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Lawyer Antouman Gaye, the lead prosecutor in the case involving Yankuba Badjie and other former NIA officers, on 7 October, 2019, argued with Defence Counsel Mene before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court in Banjul on Counsel Mene’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. Defence counsels, Mene, Chime, Kennedy, Suso and Dago represented the defence.

In his submission, Counsel Mene told the court that the first accused, Yankuba Badjie, was not ready to open his defence 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 to the court 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 defence.

Lawyer Antouman Gaye stood however argued that the reason given by Counsel Mene that the first accused was not ready to open his defence 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 defence 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 defence,” 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 defence.

The case was adjourned to 14 October, 2019, for the third accused, Sheikh Omar Jeng, to open his case.

Author: Dawda Faye