Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Moses Richards: No Reason was Advanced for My Termination

Moses Richards, a former High Court judge sacked April last year has said that no reason was advanced to him for the termination of his service as a judge.
Richards made this remarks on Wednesday at the magistrates’ court in Banjul where he is standing trial on charges of sedition and false information, which he denied.
Now a private legal practitioner, Richards served extensively as a magistrate in almost all the regions in the country before he was promoted a judge in charge of the Special Criminal Division of High Court created to preside over capital offences with a view to reduce the backlog of cases. 
And when the Director Special Litigation, D.H Kulo told him that he (Richards) got his dismissal from the bench for misconduct on a land matter including Abdoulie Jobe, Moses rubbished the allegation.
“That is not true,” he responded. “I never misconduct myself. My service was terminated and no reason was given.”
“It is correct to say that you lied on oath in this court” Kulo asked, but Moses denied lying to the court.
Kulo also accused Richards of having had a problem with police when he acted for Abdoulie Jobe for the purchase of land while he was a judge, but Moses denied it.
“If the record indicates you once had a problem with the police, it is correct for the court to treat you as a liar,” Kulo advanced.
However, the leading defense counsel Surahata Janneh objected to the admissibility of that question. Janneh said the state counsel was speculating.
Although Kulo countered that Richards should be allowed to answer the question, the court nonetheless granted the defense’s objection.
As the cross- examination continued, Kulo asked the accused that he as a former magistrate and High Court judge if the way he wrote the letter as his client narrated to him was the proper way.
“The Sheriff confirmed in this court that he asked him (his client) to write a letter,” Moses replied
Moses added that he wrote what his client narrated to him about what happened in 2007 in Jabang.
“As a lawyer I take my instructions from my client and I wrote on his behalf,” he said, denying being dictated by his client.
According to him, he took reasonable steps to make sure what he wrote was what the Sheriff told his client. “The Director of Physical Planning also confirmed that what my entire client said was the truth,” he added.
“And that is why you did not call the Sheriff of the Secretary General” Kulo asked.
Richards replied: “I have no cause to ask Pa Ebrima Colley the nature of the letter because he knew very well what the Sheriff told him.”
He added that his letter of the 6 December was acknowledged by the Sheriff who he said thanked him.
“You are being economical of the truth,” Kulo put to him.
But Richards insisted that he was saying the truth.
He said it is very incorrect for the Sherrif to copy any of his correspondents to the Office of the President because the matter does not concern the Office of the President.
He said he never mentioned in his evidence that the villagers of Jabang sustained injuries during the execution.
Richards said the Director of Physical Planning told him that investigations were going on to determine the land ownership of Jabang.
The case resumes today.
Author: Binta A Bah

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