By Bruce Asemota
Justice Basirou V.P.Mahoney has given the Attorney General and Minister of Justice’s representative, A.m.Yusuf, to file a bill of indictment on or before the 23rd January, 2023 and serve the defence team on the 24th January, in the alleged coup plotters’ trial.
Justice Mahoney made this declaration yesterday
after Principal State Counsel A.M.Yusuf informed the court that the trial of the accused persons cannot proceed because the bill of indictment was not filed.
He therefore indulged the court to allow the state to file the bill of indictments in both cases.
In response, Lawyer Lamin S.Camara who led the defence team, told the court that the accused persons have been detained for almost a month at different military barracks and that one month in detention without indictment was an infringement of their right, as they should enjoy the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Camara further submitted that the accused have right to a speedy and fair trial and urged the court to ensure that the state file a bill of indictment without further delay.
Lawyer Camara further revealed that the 8th accused person on the charge sheet; Lamin Jadama cannot be tried in absentia as he was not present.
The court also expressed concern over the inability of Bakary Njai and Bara Touray to get lawyers to represent them. Justice Mahoney declared that if the accused persons cannot get a lawyer on the next adjourned date, the state would have to provide them with lawyers from the National Agency for Legal Aid.
The accused persons present are security officials Sanna Fadera, Gibril Darboe, Ebrima Saho, Ebrima Baldeh, Omar M.Colley, Bakary Njai and Bara Touray, whilst the three civilians alleged to have been involved in the coup plot are Mustapha Jabbie, Fabakary Jawara and Saikou Gassama.
Lawyer L. S. Camara suggested that the state should consider joining the cases, since the two cases hinge on the same subject matter.
The case was adjourned to the 25th January, 2023 for mention.