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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Judge accepts withdrawal of legal aid representation for former NIA officials

By Bruce Asemota

Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court in Banjul has accepted the recusal of three defense lawyers in the criminal trial involving the state against former officials of the NIA.

The former NIA agents stand accused of murdering Ebrima Solo Sandeng, the UDP youth mobiliser who died in April 2016 whilst in detention at the NIA headquarters in Banjul.

Yankuba Badjie, Sheihk Omar Jeng, Babucarr Sallah, Haruna Susso, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang are also charged with abduction, assault causing grievous bodily harm and forgery.

The prosecution led by veteran lawyer Antouman AB Gaye called 35 witnesses and tendered several exhibits in support of its case.

Babucar Sallah, Tamba Masireh and Lamin Darboe informed the court that they no longer needed the services of the National Agency for Legal Aid lawyers. The agency then filed an application withdrawing its representation for the three accused persons.

The presiding Judge informed the accused persons that it is in their interest to be represented by a legal counsel of their choice but warned that the charges against them are a capital offense.

The three accused persons insisted on representing themselves.

Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara ruled that Babucarr Salla, Tamba Masireh and Lamin Darboe can represent themselves as they requested and accepted the withdrawal of representation of lawyers from the National Agency for Legal Aid.

The matter was adjourned to the 23rd June 2021 for hearing.

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