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City of Banjul
Friday, September 25, 2020

Caliph Hydara refuses to swear on Quran ,as he opens defence

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Hydara is standing trial alongside Buyeh Touray, the alkalo of the said village, for allegedly refusing to observe the 2014 Eidul-fitr on the state-sanctioned day. Both plead not guilty. 

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When the case resumed yesterday, Chief Inspector Camara announced his appearance for the Inspector General of Police while lawyer Antouman Gaye pronounced his representation for the accused persons.

Lawyer Gaye then appealed to the court for his client, Muhideen Hydara, to be seated as his health condition was not good enough for him to give testimony while standing. His prayer was granted and Mr Hydara was asked to swear on the holy Quran before he could open his defence, but the religious leader insisted that he would not swear on the Quran.

His counsel then asked him to affirm if he feels not to give sworn evidence, Caliph Hydara then raised his hand and said: “I swear by the Almighty Allah that the evidence I shall give before this court, shall be the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. So help me God.”

Testifying before magistrate Omar Cham of Brikama magistrates court, caliph Hydara gave his full name as Sheriff Muhideen Hydara.a resident of Darsilami Sangajor and the caliph general of the area.

He told the court that he has been the caliph general for five years. “I have been the caliph general at that area for five years while  Maaline Hydara was the imam of the village  before his death in July last year  after the Ramadan and he had been an imam for more than ten years,” he explained.

Asked whether he knew Buyeh Touray, his co- defendant, Mr Hydara replied in the positive, noting that Mr  Touray is the alkalo of  Darsilami Sangnajor and has been an alkalo for more than eight years, but was quick to add that he heard of Mr Touray’s dismissal from his post as the alkalo of the village.

The defence, lawyer Antouman Gaye at that point informed the interpreter to tell caliph Hydara that he would apply for an adjournment at that point until when the case resumes so that he can continue with his evidence and tell the court the reason why he was in court.

The case was consequently adjourned to March 16 for continuation of defence.

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