By Omar Bah
The eight leaders of the banned Three Years Jotna movement standing trial on three counts, one of which attracts life imprisonment, will at least remain in prison until Friday as lawyers tussle over their bail request.
The lawyers representing the eight accused were asked to file a written bail application as the high court refused to accept the counsel’s oral applications last week.
The eight, Abdou Njie, Ebrima Kitim Jarju, Sheriffo Sonko, Hagi Suwaneh, Fanta Mballow, Karim Touray, Yankuba Darboe and Matarr Ceesay are charged with unlawful assembly, rioting after proclamation and demolishing structures in a riot.
At yesterday’s hearing, the defence lawyers filed a written application as requested by the court for their bail.
In his submission, Lawyer Lamin Camara said the crimes for which the accused were arrested, detained and arraigned are bailable.
He argued: “Given the fact that the applicants will not jump bail or interfere with witnesses in any circumstances, and the fact that they are presumed innocent until proven guilty, the court should grant them bail.”
Presiding judge Amina Saho-Ceesay admonished both parties to exercise patience, and asserted that “due process must be followed”.
Supporters of the Three Years Jotna 8 who predictably turned out in their numbers to attend the hearings, were heard sloganeering: “We regret voting Adama Barrow as our president!”
Next hearing has been set for Friday, February 14th for the prosecution team to respond to the bail application by the defence.