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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Yankuba Touray’s lawyer withdraws from case

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By Bruce Asemota

Abdoulie Sissoho, the legal counsel representing Yankuba Touray, former minister of Local Government and Lands has withdrawn his representation as defence counsel in the ongoing trial in the murder of finance minister Ousman Koro Ceesay in 1995.
Sissoho announced his withdrawal from the case on Thursday, because of a clash with principal state counsel AM Yusuf and judge Ebrima Ba Jaiteh over dates for resumption of the adjourned trial.

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State Counsel Yusuf informed the court that he would be engaged in other courts from the 4th to 8th May and suggested 12th May as a convenient date.
Yusuf told the court that the remaining witnesses were medical officers who were on the alert because of the public state of emergency in the fight against Covid-19.

However, Sissoho suggested that the court can compel the witnesses to appear but Yusuf contended that it would be difficult to secure the presence of the two witnesses.
Sissoho suggested 12th, 13th and 14th May, 2020 be taken as multiple dates for the hearing but Yusuf informed the court he could get only one of the witnesses on the 12th and urged Sissoho to accept the 12th May, 2020 and after that other dates could be considered.

But this apparently frustrated Sissoho who made an oral application that he was withdrawing his representation for Yankuba Touray. “I have made up my mind,” he stated.
But Justice Jaiteh said Sissoho cannot make up his mind without consulting his client and implored Sissoho to look at the legal practitioners’ code of conduct as to whether he has exceptional circumstances to warrant his withdrawal.

But Sissoho curtly replied that he has the code of conduct in his head.
Justice Jaiteh suggested that Sissoho may be abandoning his client and that his withdrawal would occasion more delay for his client.

The judge then told him that if he was serious in withdrawing his representation, he should file a notice of withdrawal of representation before the next adjourned date, otherwise he would still be considered or be on record as representing Yankuba Touray.
Meanwhile, paramount chief, Mohammed Mam Bojang, of Kombo North on Thursday, testified as the seventh prosecution witness in the trial.

Chief Bojang recalled that he was the commander of police CID at the time of Koro Ceesay’s death and visited the spot on the Sukuta-Jamburr highway where the vehicle containing Ceesay’s remains were discovered.

He recollected that the vehicle, a black Mercedes Benz with registration number GG 1322 A, was resting on a water culvert and did not somersault.
Chief Bojang testified that after his preliminary visit to the scene, he was waiting for an order from the then inspector general to investigate the matter but that the directive was never given.

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