By Halimatou Ceesay
Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High Court has threatened to report some of the defence lawyers to the General Legal Council if they fail to attend the proceedings again.
The day’s proceedings was put to a halt due to the absence of some of the defence lawyers: P. Gomez for 2nd accused, I. Jallow for 3rd, U. Achigue for 6th and D. Dago for the 9th accused.
When the case was called, Lawyers Antouman AB Gaye, Rachel Mendy and Combeh Gaye announced their representation for the state. Meanwhile Lawyer Christopher Mene appeared for the 1st accused and Lawyer S. Fatty appeared for the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th accused persons.
At this point Antouman Gaye, the lead prosecutor, applied for a 10-minute stand down to give time to the absentee lawyers. The application was granted.
“We had discussed amongst ourselves. In view of the fact that four lawyers are absent makes further proceedings in this case impossible. In the interest of justice I respectfully apply that the matter be adjourned till tomorrow. There is no excuse for what they have done”, Lawyer Gaye said.
In her ruling Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara said that the court was ready to proceed but counsels for the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 9thaccused persons were absent.
“This court will not tolerate this and will not hesitate to report or lodge a complaint against those lawyers before the General Legal Counsel if it repeats itself again”, ruled Justice Sillah-Camara.
Consequently, the matter was adjourned till tomorrow 22nd May, 2018 at 12noon for continuation of hearing.
The accused persons are: Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, and Saikou Omar Jeng, former director of Operations, Baboucarr Sallah, Haruna Susso, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang.
They are standing trial on twenty-five charges ranging from murder, causing grievous harm, unlawfully causing grievous harm , conspiracy to commit felony, accessory, forgery, making document without authority , fabricating evidence, making a false death certificate, disobedience to statutory duty, abducting in order to murder and abduction in order to subject persons to grievous harm.