Lawyers escape fine for ‘disrespecting courts’

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By Binta A Bah

The High Court in Banjul has set aside a ruling it made against four lawyers for ‘blatant and flagrant disrespect to the courts’ after they failed to appear for the trial of six immigration officers accused of stealing over half-a-million dalasi, being visa fees paid to the government.

Justice Zainab Jawara-Alami had made an order for the lawyers to pay a fine of D5,000 to the courts as penalty for lack of appearance and further urged the accused persons to make a formal complaint to the General Legal Council.

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However, the defence team, led by Lamin S Camara, filed a motion asking the court to set aside the order, saying it was not out of disrespect that none of them was before the court for the trial to proceed.

Lawyer Camara apologised to the judge, noting that he has utmost respect for the courts. The appeal was subsequently granted by the judge.