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Defence blame DPP for delay of proceedings

Jun 21, 2010, 11:48 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Lawyers representing the ex-NDEA boss, Ibrahim Bun Sanneh, Karamo Bojang, the former deputy at the NDEA and three others, have blamed the Director of Public Prosecutions, Richard N Chenge, for "delaying" the progress of the case at the high court.

According to defence counsel, the DPP's failure to provide the necessary documents to them is causing the delay.

When the hearing of the case resumed last Thursday, DPP Chenge called his 4th prosecution witness, one Jawo Keita, a police officer, to continue his testimony.

Jawo Keita told the court that on 13th M arch 2010, he had obtained a cautionary statement from the 1st accused person, Bun Sanneh, in the presence of an independent witness.

The DPP then applied to tender the cautionary statement as an exhibit.

However, Kebba Sanyang, the counsel for the 1st and 2nd accused persons: Bun Sanneh and Karamo Bojang, raised an objection. He told the court that the defence was not served with the said document. Lawyer Sanyang reminded the court that the DPP promised to provide the defence with the relevant documents, since the last adjournment date, but has failed to deliver them as promised.

Lawyer Sanyang cited relevant authorities to further support his submission, and told the court that making this document available to the defence is mandatory.

Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Amadi, announced he will adjourn the case, for the last time, for the DPP to provide the defence with the said document.

In reply, the DPP said he would photocopy all the necessary documents, and serve the defence immediately. DPP Chenge wanted the case to be stood down, so that he could photocopy and serve the defence.

However, Justice Amadi insisted that he could not grant that application, and adjourned the case.

The trial judge urged the DPP to put his house in order to enable them proceed with the case.

"I don't like this type of thing. Let's make progress. Make the document available to the defence," declared Justice Amadi.

The case was adjourned to Monday 21st June 2010 at 9:30am.                                                                                                                                   

Bun Sanneh, Karamo Bojang, and three others, all of whom have pleaded not guilty, are facing trial under a 30-count charge sheet. The counts include conspiracy to commit felony, stealing by person in public service, aiding and abetting, unlawfully possession of firearm, unlawfully possession of live ammunitions, concealment and destroying of evidence, official corruption, abuse of office, committing economic crimes, obtaining money by false pretence, making a document without authority and forgery.