Prosecution to call witness from abroad in NIA trial

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By Mafugi Ceesay

Prosecutors in the trial of the 9 NIA officials are to call Fatou Darboe, a former NIA nurse who is currently in Finland to give testimony.
This disclosure was made by the lead prosecutor Antouman Gaye replying to the argument of the defense that there is none in the prosecution witness list coming from abroad.
Gaye announced to the court after the evidence in chief and cross-examination of the son of Solo Sandeng, Muhammed Sandeng, that the State would want the court to grant the prosecution two weeks adjournment to allow them call one or two witnesses who are living abroad.

But defence Lawyer Mene argued that there is none among the list of state prosecution witnesses coming from abroad, and that they did not indicate also whether they have finished with the ones within the jurisdiction before waiting on people abroad.
Gaye replied that not all the witnesses listed are to be called by the prosecution which has the right to call any witness of their choice and they don’t want to call a witness who would only appear for an hour and go because of lack of time.

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Mene said the state failed to indicate the country that the witnesses are coming from, arguing that since it is a criminal matter and that his clients are in custody it is against the proceeding to adjourn beyond a week.
He told the court that he is not against the adjournment of the case but that he is not in for it to be adjourned beyond a day.
Gaye replied that five months of the trial is interrupted by the attitudes of the defense who made arguments against the director of prosecution about the prosecution team which the court upheld.

He said that the charges involved the murder of somebody who will never return to life again, noting that the accused persons are remanded for just a year now.
Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara on her side ruled that the two years did not go in vain and a lot of progress has been made and that the prosecution has the burden to prove their case beyond all reasonable doubts. She said the case has charges of murder. She ruled that the case be adjourned to one week instead of two.
Hearing continues on March 5, 2019.

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