Thursday, May 19, 2011

Moses Richard Ordered to Proceed Without Counsel

Moses Richard-Ex High Judge
 Moses Richard was on Monday ordered by Magistrate Taiwo of Banjul Magistrates’ Court to proceed despite the absence of his lawyer.
“Move or foreclose,” the magistrate insisted, rejecting a defense counsel, Sherriff Tambedou’s request for adjournment.
“I can’t give this indulgence. Barrister Richard is a capable lawyer,” magistrate Alagbe said. 
“It will not be a fair trial if I am forced to proceed. I don’t stand as a barrister before you but rather I am accused person,” Richards said.
“Barrister it is enough,” the magistrate noted while calling the witness to enter the box to be cross-examined by the state counsel
Defense counsel Tambedou who was holding brief for Antouman Gaye reminded the magistrate that the accused is a capable lawyer but he is being represented by a lawyer.
“It is not wise for a lawyer to represent himself no matter how competent he or she is,” he added.
Richards, a former High Court Judge, now private lawyer, is facing two criminal charges - giving false information and sedition. 
He is alleged to have lied to the Sheriff of The Gambia that the 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 denied any wrong doing.
The state counsel did not object to the adjournment and yet Richards was ordered by the magistrate to cross-examine the witness, Pa Ebrima Colley, defense witness no. 2.
Under cross-examination, the witness said he was not happy with the judgement on execution because he was not aware of it.
 “Because you were not happy you decided to secure the service of lawyer, the state counsel inquired.  “The Sheriff told me to secure the services of a lawyer,” the witness replied.
When asked whether his lawyer has filed any application in any of the courts to stop the execution, the witness replied, “all I know is that he did what I told him to do.”
The case resumes 19 May 2011

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