By Bruce Asemota
The presiding judge in the criminal trial of the 14 Sanyang villagers has threatened to strike out the case if the prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Chambers are absent or unable to proceed at the next adjourned date.
Justice Ebrima Jaiteh gave this warning yesterday during the court sitting after the state prosecutor failed to appear in court. The matter was set for plea taking of the accused but the prosecutor failed to appear or give a compelling reason for his absence to the unimpressed judge.
He reminded that adjournment of cases is at the discretion of the court citing the High Court Practice Direction 2013 section (6) (1) which provides that no adjournment shall be entertained except for very compelling circumstances with verifiable reasons.
Justice Jaiteh pointed out that his court will not be used as a facility for lawyers who are not diligent in prosecuting their cases. He admonished that if at the next adjourned date, the state is absent or unable to proceed with the matter, he will strike out the case on the grounds of lack of diligent prosecution.
Justice Ebrima Jaiteh adjourned the case to 27th May, 2021 at the instance of the prosecution.
The 14 accused persons are Sainey Badjie, Arafang Sanneh, Modou Lamin Manneh, Mbye Darboe, Abdoulie Bayo, Yerro Jallow, Lamin Saidy, Samsideen Sanneh, Bakary Kanteh, Yahya Gaye, Jerreh Gitteh, Amadou Jallow and Abdoulie Simma. They are charged with unlawful assembly and rioting among others.