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Former NIA officer's firearms case adjourned

Jun 25, 2010, 12:37 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The criminal trial involving Edrisa Jobe, the former head of Special Operations Unit at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) could not proceed yesterday at the Banjul Magistrates' court as scheduled.

Jobe was charged with being in possession of firearms and ammunition without authority.

Magistrate Hilary U. Abeke was reportedly busy delivering judgments on pending drug cases, and subsequently adjourned the case of Mr. Jobe to 28th June 2010 for hearing.

Defense counsel S. Jahateh earlier made an application to the court to obtained the statement from the accused person, who is remanded in custody, as she could not have access to her client to obtain a statement from him.

"I told the prosecutor but he was trying to refused," counsel Jahateh submitted.

The police prosecutor, Sgt. Camara, told the court that the prosecution was not refusing, but there are procedures to follow before obtaining a statement from a suspect who is in custody.

He added that the prosecution was applying for an adjournment to enable him seek advice from his superiors in order to proceed with the case.

The defense counsel raised an objection to the application for an adjournment, noting that her client is not on bail. She added that it would be unfair for him if the case is not proceeding.

Stating that her client?s liberty is at stake, counsel said, "Your worship, I don't know why the police are not proceeding with this matter," pointing out that this was the third time the case was being adjourned. "I therefore apply for bail for my client," she told the court.

At that juncture, the trial magistrate told the court that he cannot continue hearing the case, as he was to complete delivering judgments on drug cases, which have been pending for a long time.

He added that if the defense counsel wants, she could still wait until when he finished with the drug cases, which the defense counsel and the prosecution agreed to do, but later they both decided to take a new date for the hearing to continue.