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Cocaine trial adjourned again, accused persons indisposed

Jul 16, 2010, 12:19 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The cocaine trial involving 12 accused persons was yesterday rescheduled to 21st July 2010, at the special narcotics court of the Banjul Magistrates' Court before Magistrate Hilary U. Abeke.

All the accused persons, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, were indicted on a three-count charges of conspiracy to commit an offence; dealing in prohibited drugs for the purpose of supply by retail or wholesale, and the transport and or transfer; and possession of prohibited drugs for the purpose of drug trafficking.

The accused persons are: Maimuna Sesay, a Nigerian/Sierra Leonean national, Fernando Varela, a Cape Verde/Dutch national, Barset Goodwin, a Ghanaian/Sierra Leonean, 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.

When the case was called, the state counsel N.B. Jones told the court that she was surprised the accused persons were not in court.  

She further told the court that at the last hearing, the officers who brought the accused persons to court were present throughout the whole proceedings, and that they were aware of the adjournment date.

She added that the prosecution did not make any specific request to the institution where the accused persons are detained to bring them to the court.

Mrs. Jones further submitted that the case was adjourned for mention, and promised that by the next adjournment date the prosecution would make a specific request for the accused persons to be brought to court.

Lawyer Chime, representing the 1st to 4th accused persons told the court that the defence was not objecting to the state counsel's request for an adjournment.

He said the prosecution would be responsible for the attendance of the accused persons in court, at the next adjournment date.

Lawyer L.S. Camara, representing 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th accused persons told the court that "we are dealing with a felony. So, I want the state to be bringing the accused persons to the court, at all times when the case is set for hearing," counsel submitted.