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Non-service of motion by state delays 12/30 attackers appeal

Jun 3, 2016, 10:51 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The non-service of motion by the state represented by the DPP on the appellants yesterday, delayed the adoption of briefs on the December 30 attackers’ appeal before a three-member panel of judges of the Gambia Court of Appeal led by the court’s president, Justice Fafa Edrissa M’bai with Justice Sallah-Wadda and Justice O.A. Adogoke.

The appellants are Lt. Sarjo Jarju, Captain Abdoulie Jobe, Buba Bojang, Lt. Amadou Sowe, Lt. Buba Sanneh, and Private Modou Njie.

When the case was called, M. Mbugi Alfred appeared for the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th appellants and also held brief for B.S. Touray for the 1st appellant, while counsel L.S. Camara appeared for the 4th appellant.

DPP S.H. Barkun appeared for the state with M.B. Abubacarr.

Counsel M. Mbugi Alfred then informed the court that they had filed their brief of argument as ordered by the court dated 4 May 2016 and filed on 5 May 2016.

“We also incorporated in our brief a preliminary objection filed by the respondent,” she said.

At that juncture, the DPP rose and said: “I have a motion before the court before we adopt. The motion was filed yesterday, and subject to the convenience of the court I would like to move the motion.”

Justice Sallah-Wadda then informed the DPP about a motion before them, and the DPP then said: “I am making an application, the motion before the court was dated 16 April 2016 and filed on 19 April 2016 signed by B. Jeng with no affidavit attached.”

The application was granted and the motion was struck out.

The DPP then said the motion filed yesterday sought to regularize the respondent’s briefs.

However, Counsel L.S. Camara said he was not served with the said motion and was minded to object.

Justice Sallah-Wadda said in that case service was fundamental, and it had to be made.

However, counsel Alfred confirmed that she had been served.

The case was then adjourned until 7 June 2016, for adoption of briefs.

Justice M’bai then advised both parties to look at their processes carefully before the next adjournment date.

It would be recalled that the four appellants together with two other convicts faced up to 14 charges, ranging from treason to security offences.

The five-member court martial comprising a president and four other members, who were senior officers from GAF, sat from 5 February to 30 March 2015 at the Officers` Training Centre, Fajara Barracks.

Lieutenant Colonel Sarjo Jarju was discharged on one count, but sentenced to 10-year imprisonment on one count, 20-year imprisonment on one count, life imprisonment on 3 counts and to death on one count.

Captain Amadou Sowe was sentenced to life imprisonment on two counts.

Lieutenant Buba Sanneh was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment on one count, 20-year imprisonment on one count, life imprisonment on 4 counts and to death on one count.

Private Njie Modou received a life imprisonment on one count and death on two counts.