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City of Banjul
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Defence to make ‘no case submission’ in Caliph Hydara trial

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Caliph Muhideen Hydara and his co-defendant, Alkalo Buyeh Touray, are being tried on a single charge of criminal indictment of disobedience to lawful order for observing Eid-ul-Fitr a day after the state-sanctioned day. They denied any culpability. 

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In a bid to establish the essential ingredients of the offence as charge, the prosecution presented a host of witnesses and tendered exhibits before closing its case about a fortnight ago.

The prosecution also intended to call the Governor of the West Coast Region as a witness but later withdrew that application.

When the case resumed yesterday afternoon at the Brikama Magistrates Court, the lead counsel, Antouman Gaye aided by lawyer Lamin Mboge, announced their appearance for the accused persons while Chief Inspector Camara pronounced his appearance for the Inspector General of Police. Lawyer Gaye then formally applied to the court for his client, Muhideen Hydara to be seated where he was because he was sick and could not stand in the dock due to his poor health. His application was granted. Lawyer Gaye then told the court: “We understand that the prosecution has closed its case and we have unanimously decided to make a ‘no case-submission’ and we have also agreed to make it in a form of written brief within two weeks.” 

The prosecutor, chief inspector Camara did not object to the application.

The presiding magistrate consequently adjourned the matter to December 19 for defence to file their brief.

Meanwhile, the defence’s application for the stay of proceeding which they filed at the high court in Brikama was quashed for lack of merit last week. The defence in their motion at the high court argued that the lower court lacked the authority and jurisdiction to try the accused persons.

They contended that the matter should be referred to the supreme court for interpretation of the law since there was a lot of constitutional issues being raised during the main trial at the lower court and if it continue with the case it would be a travesty to the constitution. But their application was dismissed. 

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