In the Jotna movement 8 trial, defense lawyers have Tuesday gone head to head with State Prosecutors over the bail application they filed before the court. Tuesday’s marathon hearing was punctuated by submissions from both the prosecution and defense, arguing on the issue of granting or not bail to the accused persons.
As the Prosecution challenged the motion filed by the defense through an affidavit in opposition, Justice Aminata Saho-Ceesay asked the defense whether they have any objection on the affidavit in opposition to the defendant’s motion.
Leading the charge, senior defense counsel Rachel Y. Mendy said there is nothing in the said affidavit opposing the application for bail.
The eight top executives of the banned Three Years Jotna were arrested last Month after their protest march turned violent. Subsequently, they are facing three criminal charges as the matter was transferred from Kanifing Magistrates’court to Banjul High Court.
She debunked the argument on paragraph 4 of the affidavit in opposition, suggesting that “the bail application has been overtaken by events.”
Lawyer Mendy went further to remind the court that any person in custody, he or she can file an application for bail irrespective of what stages the proceedings are.
The affidavit in opposition, she explained, doesn’t amount opposing bail.
“The accused persons are innocent until proven guilty,” she said.
Objecting the submission made by the defense, State prosecutor Patrick Gomez made it clear that it is undeniable that the affidavit was sworn before a person duly authorized.
“We urge this honourable court to proceed and accept this affidavit,” he said in a court at capacity.
Seasoned defense counsel Lamin S. Camara added weight to their arguments.
“The offenses of which the applicants were arrested, detained and arraigned are all bailable offenses,” he told the court. “The applicants will not jump bail.”
He assured the court that the accused persons will interfere with witnesses in any circumstances, and will avail themselves to any court to stand trial.
The case was subsequently adjourned until Friday 14 February 2020 for the prosecution to reply to the submissions made by the defense as Justice Aminata Ceesay-Saho is expected to hand down a ruling on the bail application filed by the defense team…
Written by Abdoulie John
Join The Conversation