By Bruce Asemota
The High Court in Banjul has granted an application for the state to secure the attendance of its last witness in the manslaughter trial involving Sainabou Mbye, Cherno Mbye and Kimbilly Dembelly.
During the court sitting earlier this week, Principal State Counsel AM Yusuf sought for an adjournment on grounds that they intend to summon the Senegalese doctor who conducted the postmortem examination on the body of Baby Muhammed.
He said the process involves the use of diplomatic channels and therefore urged the court to grant the application.
The defence counsel on the other hand vehemently objected to the application for an adjournment on the grounds that the prosecution did not comply with the requirements as provided under Section 234 of the Criminal Procedure Code, by given notice of the attendance of the witness, the doctor.
The defence submitted that the accused persons have been in custody since July and early August and the prosecution was ordered to prepare their witnesses and line them up for an accelerated hearing.
The defence further submitted that the prosecution was to call a witness from The Gambia and not from Dakar to tender a referral note.
The defence argued that the application lacked merit.
The judge said he agreed with the submission of the defence that the state had ample opportunity to use diplomatic channels and secure the attendance of the doctor from Dakar.
The judge said the prosecution has been changing counsel at will and providing different reasons for adjournment which he regarded as “very unprofessional and not diligent”.
He said he was inclined to use the court’s discretion to grant the prosecution one last adjournment in the interest of justice.
The case was then adjourned to 27th October for the witness to appear and the prosecution to close its case.