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Ex-senior judicial officials' trial continues

Apr 1, 2011, 2:05 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

The criminal trial involving ex-senior judicial officials continued on Tuesday at the High Court in Banjul before Justice Lamin Jobarteh.

The accused persons are Alhaji LS Sonko, ex-assistant Sheriff attached to the Sheriff's Division; Haruna Jaiteh, ex-Judicial Secretary; Amina Saho-Ceesay, ex-Master of the High Court; and Ngui Mboob-Janneh, ex-judge. All have denied the charges preferred against them.

During Tuesday's proceedings, senior defence counsel Antouman A. Gaye objected to the tendering of a document by the state prosecutor.

Gaye told the court that they are objecting to the admissibility of the document on the grounds that a proper foundation was not laid, unless the document was within the class of documents generally referred to as a public document.

He said any document that falls under that class or category required a proper foundation to be laid for it to be admissible, arguing that the document is not a public document.

The witness, counsel said, told the court that he was the custodian of the document, adding that this does not mean the document can be admitted in this court’s proceedings.

He further submitted that in the absence of any evidence as to how the team came into existence, it will be reckless for the court to admit the document.

Counsel also objected based on what he termed the irregularity, illegality and unconstitutionality of the team, since the witness did not disclose to the court who appointed the team.

Counsel stated that the Gambian Judiciary does not have the investigating authority, further stating that The Gambia, as a state, has competent institutions that are constitutionally empower to investigate alleged crimes.

He urged the court to reject the document.

The case continues.