Ex-NIA’s Defence counsel protest over appearance in Court

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Defence counsel in the case involving former top brass of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) yesterday said their clients’ appearance in court was illegal, since there was no proper information before the court.

Counsel made this remark before a crowded courtroom, during an application before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara urging her to invoke section 19, subsections 5, of the Constitution to strike out the case and discharge the accused persons.

The accused persons are Yankuba Badjie, Louis Gomez, Saikou Omar Jeng, Haruna Suso, Yusupha Jammeh, Lamin Lang Sanyang, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Babucarr Sallah.

They were arraigned before the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony and murder on 23 February 2017, before Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie.

“You cannot bring the accused persons in court where there is nothing to answer and we urged Your Lordship to exercise her discretion based on Section 19 Subsection [5] of the Constitution in favor of the accused persons,” defence lawyers submitted while urging the court to protect the fundamental rights of their client to a fair and speedy trial.

After listening keenly to both parties, the trial judge ruled that she took into consideration bearing in mind that the accused persons are still in custody but since the state hasn’t filed a bill of information she could have invoke Section 24 of the 1997 Constitution to strikeout the case.

Justice Sillah-Camara, however, urged the state to file their summary of evidence before finally adjourning the case to March 27 for mentioning.

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