Friday, April 15, 2011

“Justice Rushed is Justice Denied”

Leading defense counsel in the criminal trial involving Moses Richards has described the magistrate’s hastiness to proceed with the matter without the state counsel as injustice.
“Justice delayed is justice denied”, he said, adding that “justice rushed is justice denied” in the trial of a  former High Court Judge – now private lawyer - facing two criminal charges:giving false information and sedition - at Banjul Magistrates’ Court.
He is alleged to have lied to the Sheriff of The Gambia that president of the Republic ordered a stay of execution of a writ of possession in a civil suit; thus gave false information to a public servant and brought contempt into the person of the president of the Republic.
He however denied any wrong doing.
The magistrate who seemed surprised asked: “Why is the defense advocating for the state counsel,” saying that the Deputy Director of Special Litigation, S. Abi reluctantly failed to appear in court as he supposed on the last adjourn date that he will send a letter.
The defense counsel who could not convince the magistrate that most of the state counsels are in the judgment of ex-CDS Tamba told the magistrate to put it in record that it was the wish of court to proceed with the case in their absence. According to the magistrate there are other state counsels who could have represented S. Abi.
Continuing his testimony, Pa Ousman, alkalo of Jabang said he made a statement at the NDEA office in Kanifing in January 2011. “I was asked if what Moses wrote was the same thing I told him to write,” he said
At this juncture the defense applied to tender it but the magistrate said the court could not accept second hand evidence, adding that it is a photocopy and the defense does not lay a proper foundation.
When the defense said he was ready to lay better foundation, the magistrate also said he will adjourn the case, stating that he was not happy about how the case was proceeding.
Gaye, however told the court that the said document was given to him in court by the state counsel in front of the magistrate on the last adjourned date but the magistrate insisted that he has the discretion to adjourn any case he wishes.
Trial resumes April 19.

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