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Ex-Justice Minister Jobarteh chooses not to give evidence in defence

Oct 10, 2013, 10:21 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

Former Justice minister Lamin AMS Jobarteh, who was expected to open his defence yesterday at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul, has told the court that he intended not to give evidence in his defence.

This was disclosed to the court by his defence counsel, Borry Touray, during yesterday’s hearing of the case involving him (Jobarteh), Pa Harry Jammeh, the former Solicitor General, and former Secretary General Dr Njogu L. Bah.

The three were arraigned before Justice Emmanuel Nkea of the Special Criminal Court, charged with a three-count which includes conspiracy to carry out a lawful purpose by an unlawful means, giving false information to a public officer, and abuse of office, charges they denied.

Jobarteh was expected to open his defence after the court overruled the defence counsel’s no-case-to-answer submission, and called on the accused persons to give evidence in their defence.

When the case was announced, defence counsel BS Touray told the court that he had filed a notice of appeal on the ruling of the no-case-to-answer submission by the court.

He then applied for an adjournment to effect service of the notice of appeal on the state.

However, the trial judge said the notice of appeal did not reach him, and he would proceed with the case as scheduled.

Counsel Touray after consultation with his client, then announced that the 1st accused person, Jobarteh, intended not to give evidence.

Defence counsel E. Jah, who represented the 2nd accused, Pa Harry Jammeh, when asked by the court whether he would proceed with his defence, said he was asking for a date for them to prepare their case.

 At that juncture, the case was adjourned to today.