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‘Cocaine 9 suspects have case to answer’

Jul 29, 2011, 10:53 AM | Article By: B. Samateh & M. Conteh

The nine foreign nationals involved in the multi-million dollar cocaine trial were yesterday told by the court that they have a case to answer regarding the allegation preferred against them.

This followed a ruling delivered by the acting-Principal Magistrate Alagba at the Banjul Magistrate’ Court yesterday on the no-case submission made by the defence on behalf of the accused persons.

In his ruling, the trial magistrate told the court that the prosecution had called 17 witnesses in support of their case, adding that at the closure of the prosecution case, the defence made a no-case submission.

The magistrate at length summarized the evidence adduced by the prosecution witnesses, as well as the argument of the defence on the no-case submission and the response by the prosecution.

He concluded that the prosecution had prove a prima facie case against the accused, dismissed the no-case submission and called on them to enter into their defence.

He then adjourned the case to 2 August 2011, for defence.

The nine accused persons are: Ephriam Micheal Chiduben a Nigerian national, Juan Carlos Sanchez, Eric Bottini, Dose Fermin, Juan Carlos Diaz, and Esteaban Zavala all Venezuelan nationals, George Sanchez a Mexican/Liberian national, as well as Rudy Rasoehamid Gazi and Dennis Wilgo Winter both Dutch nationals.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to traffic in prohibited drugs, trafficking in drugs, dealing in prohibited drugs, having firearm without authority, importation of firearm without authority, among others.