The accused are Sanna Fadera, Gibril Darboe, Ebrima Sannoh, Omar Njie and Fabakary Jawara. When the charges were read to them by Justice B.V.P Mahoney who is the presiding judge, all of them pleaded not guilty to the charges.
However, at this juncture, the State Counsel, A. Yusuf, applied for adjournment, saying: “In view of the fact that all the accused persons have pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them, we want the court to adjourn the case and give us a clear date for continuation of the trial.”
Meanwhile, lawyer Lamin S. Camara interjected, saying: “My lord there is no single witness statement that is served to the defence team by the prosecution and the prosecution wants us to commence trial. My lord, even the exhibits they have listed, some of the most important exhibits like witness statements and the recording audios are not served to the defence.”
Speaking on behalf of the other defence counsel, he said: “We insist that we must be served every single piece of evidence in the custody of the prosecution before trial will commence.”
However, A.M Yusuf also stated: “It’s not a pre-condition to serve the defence list of evidence of the witness. We will only serve them when the defence makes a request. If they make a request, we will gladly serve them. We don’t know what they are up to unless they indicate what they want. I, therefore, urge my colleagues that instead of making a demand, let them make a request because that is the appropriate thing to do.”
Lawyer Camara further referred the court to Section 175C subsection 3 of the constitution which stated that the prosecution may and shall if and so directed by the court deliver to the custody of the court of all documents and things which according to the summary of evidence are intended to be put in evidence at the trial.
He added: “Section 24 subsection 3C of the constitution is absolutely crystal clear about it. I am just surprised because my learned friend knows that in this jurisdiction, an indictment must include the list of the witnesses and their statements as well as all the exhibits that they intended to rely on. Therefore, it doesn’t even warrant for us to argue over this.”
State Counsel Yusuf later changed his position, saying: “My lord we will give them all what they want if it’s within our position.”
The case was then adjourned till 8, 14, 16, 21, 23, and 28 February and 2 of March 2023.