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Coup Trial: Jobarteh Argues That State Has No Case Against Third Defendant

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Alleged Coup Plotters

By Landing Ceesay 

Counsel Junkung Jobarteh, who represents the third suspect in the trial of the alleged coup plotters, argued in court that the State (Prosecution) has “no case” against his client.

Mr. Jobarteh said that none of the Prosecution Witnesses testified about the third defendant’s participation in the alleged coup attempt.

“Even where one of the witnesses mentioned, the so-called meeting taking place is variant. The two pieces of evidence are both contradictory to each other. The cautionary and voluntary statements of the third accused contain his vehement denial of the charges. There is nothing contained in the statements that carry any weight,” Counsel Jobarteh argued.  

Counsel Jobarteh informed the court that Exhibits P9 and P10, which are call records, did not contain the full phone number of the third accused person. He argued that Counsel LS Camara successfully discredited the call records during cross-examination. Counsel Jobarteh also stated that Counsel LS Camara discredited the entire testimony of PW6, Jally M.I Senghore, who claimed to be an analyst.

Counsel Jobarteh stated that Prosecution Witness 6 testified in court that he knew the first and third accused persons were communicating, but he did not know what they were talking about.

“Are we going to say that all those whose numbers are in that call records are alleged coupists, and why are they not arrested? The said operational plan, my learned senior was successful to punched that also. Because the purported operational plan has no owner. There is no signature and there is no name on it. PW6 said he did not print out the purported operational plan from Karamo Jatta’s phone. 

“Even Karamo Jatta himself said he did not know who printed out the purported operational plan from his phone. That particular phone has no bearing on the third accused person. But again, PW6 said the phones were not recovered by him. The phones were recovered by the panel. My lord, I want the court to consider these factors. Also, the evidence adduced by the Prosecutors have been so discredited by my learned senior (Counsel LS Camara),” he argued. 

Counsel Jobarteh further argued that when the state case is “so fraud” then the accused persons should not have any case to answer. 

Counsel Jobarteh said a prima facie case has not been established by the state before the court. 

“As long as other courts are enjoined, I also enjoin this Honourable court to determine a prima facie case before the accused would come and open his defense. I humbly urge this Honourable court to discharge and acquit the 3rd accused person,” Counsel Jobarteh submits. 

Four members of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), a member of the Gambia Police Force (GPF) are currently standing treason trial before Justice Mahoney of the High Court of the Gambia. 

The Four (4) Soldiers and one (1) Police Officer are accused of an attempted alleged Coup and are charged with 5 counts, including treason. 

The Soldiers and a Police Officer charged are; Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera (1st accused) Private Officer, Gibril Darboe (2nd accused) Corporal Ebrima Sannoh (3rd accused), and Corporal Omar Njie (4th accused), Fabakary Jawara (5th accused) is the Police Officer charged alongside the Soldiers. 

The prosecution called eight (8) witnesses in the trial. However, after the prosecution closed its case, 3 out of the 5 accused persons filed a “no case to answer submission.” 

The 3 accused persons are; Private Officer, Gibril Darboe (2nd accused) Corporal Ebrima Sannoh (3rd accused), and Corporal Omar Njie (4th accused). 

Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera (1st accused), and Fabakary Jawara (5th accused) did not file the “no case to answer submission.”

A ‘no case to answer’ submission is a legal argument that can be raised at the end of the prosecution’s case. If successful, it has the effect of stopping the proceedings before any defense evidence is called.

The lawyers representing these three accused persons told the court that the prosecution (the state) failed to produce a prima facie case against their clients. 

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