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City of Banjul
Thursday, November 26, 2020

Yank’s trial: HC requests original copy of 1997 Constitution

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By Bruce Asemota

Justice Ebrima Ba Jaiteh of the High Court has implored State Counsel K Tah and defence lawyer Sissoho to help provide the court with the original copy of the 1997 Constitution. The two are the opposite lawyers in the Yankuba Touray trial.

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Justice Jaiteh said the court needs to see the original copy of the constitution since lawyer Sissoho invoked a provision which the state had argued was unlawfully inserted in the 2002 reprint of the 1997 Constitution, to which lawyer Sissoho has agreed. “I am now demanding for the original copy of the 1997 Constitution before the amendment in 2001, in order to ascertain what the status quo of the 1997 Constitution was before it went to the referendum,” the judge said.

However, Lawyer Sissoho submitted that he had made frantic efforts to locate or find the original copy of the 1997 Constitution.

“I even sent someone to National Assembly, the National Library and consulted some senior legal practitioners but to no avail,” Yankuba’s lawyer told the court.

Meanwhile, State Counsel K Tah too told the court that he had searched the state law office for the document but it could not be traced.

Both Counsel K. Tah and lawyer Sissoho promised to do more in tracing the document.

Justice Jaiteh said in his quest for substantial justice, it would be prudent to have that copy before making a ruling on Paragraph 13 of the 1997 Constitution.

Since both lawyers conceded that the current provision of paragraph 13 was unconstitutionally amended, Justice Jaiteh asked the general public to help the court with the original copy of the 1997 Constitution.

Case adjourned to 26th October, 2020.

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