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State witness fails to appear in Jappineh marabout trial

Jan 21, 2015, 10:36 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The state witness Monday failed to appear in the murder trial involving Jappineh marabout Alhajie Karamo Njie, before Justice Amadi of the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

When the case was called, state counsel Olimatou Danso said the witness was not in court.

According to Danso, the state witness said he was in court on Thursday, but the trial judge was having meetings with the CJ.

However, defence counsel Gomez told the court that the witness did not give any genuine reason why he was not in court.

Counsel said the accused has the right to a speedy trial in the interest of justice.

The trial judge said the state counsel should tell the police officer that, no matter the duty he has, coming to the court to testify is an order from the court.

He said the police is a discipline force, and even if the IGP assigned him, he should have told him that the court needs him.

He added that the witness is not only wasting the court’s time, but that of the country as well.

If the state was not ready to proceed with the case they should withdraw the case, Justice Amadi said, adding that the police officer is the arm of the government that brings the accused person to court and, therefore, he should be present in court.

The court would not condone such again, added Justice Amadi.

The state should not rely on one witness, but should bring more witnesses so that when the other was not ready they could proceed with another, the judge went on.

He said on the next adjournment date, if the witness is not in court he would be forced to take coercive action against him, as the court is not a bank where they kept cases.

The case continues on 11 February 2015.