The judge presiding over the case of Gambia’s opposition leader, has told Ousainou Darboe and co to defend themselves in court in the absence of their legal team. The judge Justice Dada told the accused persons that her court is going to continue hearing the case irrespective of the defense’s absence in court. Notwithstanding, she went ahead to hear the testimony of one of the prosecution witnesses.
Addressing the court, Ousainou Darboe, who is a career lawyer by profession, strongly questioned the impartiality of the trial judge—citing the judge’s apparent failure to follow the rules of the court and the constitution. Mr. Darboe, refused to comment or cross-examine the prosecution witness on his testimony, saying that it is not his responsibility to help the court to do its job.
Mr. Darboe argued that it is responsibility of the court to provide counsel for him and his co accused persons in the event they do not have legal representation. Sadly, according to Darboe, the judge is acting as she doesn’t fathom her duties and responsibilities as an adjudicator.
Mr. Darboe made it abundantly clear that he will not help the court to convict him and his co accused persons. He said the judge is free to do whatever pleases her. He observed that from the onset Justice Dada, has manifested her biasness by failing to accord them fair trial.
The opposition leader therefore refused to enter his defense. His co accused persons were also consulted by the judge to comment on the testimony made by one of the prosecution witnesses.
The case has been adjourned to Monday. In meantime, the defense’s boycott of Justice Dada’s court continues.