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Court urged to acquit Tamba & Fofana

Dec 9, 2010, 12:54 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Lawyer Sherriff Tambedou, counsel representing Lang Tombong Tamba, former chief of defence staff, yesterday told the Special Criminal Court to acquit and discharge the accused persons or close the prosecution, going by the evidence adduce so far.

S.M Tambedou made the submission, following the late arrival of the prosecutor, Daniel O. Kulo, the Director of Special Litigation at the Attorney General’s Chambers, which the defence counsel described as evidence of the prosecution’s lack of seriousness in prosecuting the case.

DSL Daniel O. Kulo, who apologied for his late arrival, told the court that he was held up at the Gambia Court of Appeal in another matter in respect of Youssuf Ezideen.

He then urged the court to grant him an adjournment in order to attend a ruling coming up at 3 pm at the Court of Appeal.

Lawyer L.K Mboge, counsel for the 2nd accused person, Sarjo Fofana, then rose and vehemently opposed the application for an adjournment, stating that what they were interested in was for the prosecution to produce their witness, and continue with hearing of the case.

“The Director of Special Litigation has a lot of juniors who can hold brief for him, when he is not around,” counsel Mboge submitted.

Counsel urged the court to refuse the said application for an adjournment, and order the prosecution to call their next witness.

The presiding judge Justice Ikpala subsequently adjourned the case till 16 December 2010.

It would be recall that Tamba and Fofana are being tried in connection with the 21st March 2006 aborted coup plot, alleged to have been masterminded by former armed forces chief, Colonel Ndure Cham, who is at large.

General Tamba, it would be recalled, has been sentenced to death by the High Court in Banjul in July 2010, after being convicted for treason.

Rear Admiral Sarjo Fofana was the president of the general court martial that convicted the military men involved in the foiled 2006 coup attempt, for which he is now standing trial.

So far the prosecution has called six witnesses, including security operatives, police officers and convicts serving life.

The indictment includes conspiracy to commit treason, treason and concealment of treason, charges which they have denied.

At yesterday’s court proceedings, their legs were shackled and hands cuffed with a tight security escort.