Treason Trial : Judge rejects Defense”s Application For Extension on No Case Submission

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By Feima Sesay

Justice Komba Kamanda, presiding judge in the ongoing treason trial has on Thursday 6 June, 2024 turned down the application made by defense Counsel Musa Pious Sesay for an extension of time to submit their no case on behalf of Amadu Koita Makalo and five others.

He made this application because they were unable to submit them before the court at the specific period given by the court.

Lawyer Africanus Sesay and Emmanuel Teddy Koroma submitted their no case submission on behalf of Bai Mahmoud Bangura, Ramatu Kamanda Conteh, second, third, seventh and nineth accused persons.

Lawyer Sesay in his submission said the defense team had worked on the instructions and deadline for all written submissions that should be submitted before the court.

He said failing to do so would amount to contempt, adding that the defense had only submitted a no case submission for six of the accused persons.

He pleaded for the court to give them a grace period for an extension of time so that they would be able to submit the no case submission on behalf Amadu Koita Makalo, sixth, twelveth and tenth accuseds, adding that failure on the side of their defense team to submit a no case on their behalf was not deliberate but due to the huge number of witnesses and the large exhibits.

He said they had relayed their concerns to the Prosecution on the constraints they have experienced.

Justice Komba Kamanda in reply said the Prosecution had no say in that direction, adding that he was the one who gave the order for them to submit their no case before the court on said date.

Pious Sesay further pleaded with the learned judge that it was not deliberate on their side not to submit a no case, but said they would comply with the court’s instructions on the next adjourned date.

Justice Komba Kamanda in response said he had listened to the submission for extension of time but said he could not grant their application and in the circumstance turned down the application for an extension of time made by defense Counsel Pious Sesay.

He said when time was being given by the court, both parties should comply.

Justice Kamanda said defense Counsel did not give any reason for failure of submitting their no case submission on behalf of their clients.

But however, Justice Kamanda said he would give each lawyer eight minutes to address the court orally on their no case submissions.

He said if a lawyer was addressing the court on behalf of two or three of the accused persons, that lawyer would be given fifteen minutes to address the court on a no case submission.

The learned judge said it was not mandatory to give lawyers chance to address the court on a no case submission but wanted to give them the opportunity in this case.

He warned them strictly that while making their addresses before the court, he would stick to the time he had stated, adding that oral submission should not be a rehearsal because everything needed was in writing of a no case submission.

After his ruling, Justice Kamanda gave the Prosecution team one week to respond to the written submissions made by Defense Counsel on behalf of some of the accused persons, adding that if they fail to reply, he would not extend any time for them.

He said in the case of the 11&12 accused persons, there was no case submission before him by their lawyers.

Later on, Lawyer Kamara, on behalf of the eleventh accused, said he would lead his client on the witness stand on his defense.

The matter was adjourned to Thursday 13th June, 2024.

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