“The court is not hinting but I will control my court. I am here for that purpose,” the magistrate stressed.
The magistrate made this remarks when barrister Gaye said “if this is the attitude of the court fine,” following the magistrate’s suggestion that the case is not a title declaration.
“I know this is not a title declaration and nobody can dictate me how to proceed with our matter,” Gaye said.
“What is going on here is far more than a hint,” he added.
Richards, a former High Court Judge – now private lawyer -is facing two criminal charges – giving false information and sedition - at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.
He is alleged to have given false information 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.
However, he denied giving false information.
These arguments aroused following a question the defense posed to the witness, Momodou Colley alias Kunkung, Director of Physical Planning to indicate where the eviction took place in a sketched plan before the court.
The sketch according to the witness was given to a committee that was formed by a panel to find out the location where the eviction was carried out.
The panel, he said compromises of the then Chief Justice Abdou Karim Savage, the late Director General of NIA, Pa Jallow, former Justice Minister Kebba Sanyang, himself (witness) and other judicial officials. He said they were ordered to look exactly effectively to the execution of judgment without problems in the village of Jabang.
He said one portion of the sketch falls in forest reserve and that the execution did not take place at that portion, “because it is a forest,” he said
A report, he said was prepared and submitted to the panelists with his signature on it.
The defense counsel seeks to tender it but state counsel Morris Agiah objected that it is a public document that need to be certified.
“It is not primary evidence,” he said.
But lawyer Gaye believed that the document is admissible and that objection by the state counsel was misconceived.
“The document is an original document which is signed by the author of the document and is coming from proper custody,” he said.
However, the court ruled that the document is admissible and marked it as Exhibit C.
Trial continues June 27, 2011