Oct 24, 2016, 9:45 AM
Justice O. Ottaba of the Special Criminal Court in Banjul yesterday adjourned the bail application of lawyer Ousainou Darboe and 18 others for adoption of briefs.
The applicants are Ousainou Darboe, Kemeseng Jammeh, Femi Peters, Lamin Dibba, Lamin Jatta, Yaya Bah, Babucarr Camara, Fakebba Colley, Ismaila Ceesay, Momodou Fatty, Dodou Ceesay, Samba Kinteh, Mamudou Manneh, Nfamara Kuyateh, Fanta Darboe, Lamin Njie, Juguna Suso, Momodou L.K. Sanneh and Yaya Jammeh.
They were charged with five counts of “unlawful assembly, riot, incitement of violence, riotously interfering with vehicles, and holding a procession without a permit”.
When the case was called, DPP Barkun appeared for the state while senior counsel A.B. Gaye, A.M. Bensouda, Awa Sisay-Sabally, S.M. Tambadou, O.M.M. Njie, Mary A. Samba, Rachel Y. Mendy, Neneh Cham, Musa Bachilly, Abdoulie Sissoho, Yasin Senghore, Hajum Gaye, and Sagar Jahateh, represented the applicants.
Senior Counsel Gaye then said: “We are applying for that miscellaneous application to be struck out. I wish to inform the court that we have now filed a fresh application based on the indictment before the court, and the state is served with all the 19 applications.”
DPP did not object to the court striking out of the application.
The trial judge then struck out the application.
DPP then said they had filed an affidavit in opposition, but the defence had not yet been served.
Senior Counsel Gaye again said with regards to the urgency of the matter they would prefer oral application on points of law.
The trial judge then said he wanted them to file a written argument.
“Our laws did not provide for written briefs in the high court,” counsel said, adding: “I wish to inform your lordship that the laws of The Gambia did not allow for written briefs on bail.”
With regard to the affidavit in opposition filed by the DPP, counsel Gaye said they would accept service in court.
They were then served in court and after looking at it, counsel Gaye then said they were requesting for a stand down for 15 minutes so they could go through the briefs.
The DPP did not object and the case was stood down for 15 minutes.
Upon resumption after the allocated time, senior counsel A. Bensouda said: “We have reviewed it and are ready to proceed with the bail application orally.”
The urgency of the application was such that they wanted the application to be heard because the liberty of the applicants was at stake, she said.
The trial judge, however, insisted they should file a written argument.
The case was then adjourned until 28 April 2016, at 12 noon.
Counsel Bensouda then renewed their call once again for them to be granted access to their clients, because they wanted to interview them.
The trial judge said he had made an order for them to be granted access, and asked if there was a breach of that order.
It was confirmed by the defence team that there was a breach of that order.
The trial judge then called the attention of state prosecutor Manga, and ordered them to let the counsel have access to their clients.EndFragment