By Mafugi Ceesay
Superintendent Thomas Gomez, prosecution witness 25, will on Monday lead the High Court to the Banjul Mortuary to identify the body of the late Solo Sandeng, as well as the gloves, clothing and mattress recovered during their investigation.This development came when Yassin Senghore, a prosecutor in the trial of Yankuba Badjie and 6 others who were employees of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) made an application for the court to visit the mortuary for the witness to identify the body and the items recovered at the NIA Annex in Tanji.Gomez has told the court that he led the team of investigators who exhumed the body of the late Solo Sandeng.He said he cannot recall the number of gloves recovered and the clothes were found torn due to the level of the decomposition, adding that mattress is not torn apart but it is stained from the decomposition.
However Lawyers CE Mene, Ibrahim Jallow, O. Suso and D. Dargbo for the defence all objected to the said application. The defence argued that the court has set precedence that such applications be made formal and not oral and that the court shouldn’t divert itself from that precedence.Counsel Yassin Senghore in her counter argument stated that there is no requirement for such application to be made formal and there is no legal basis for such. She submitted that since the defence has not objected to the application but instead requested for it to be made formal.“Making the application formal is just a waste of time and it serves no absolute purpose. There is no requirement for a formal application,” she argued.
Lawyer Mene in his reply said the court is a court of record and it is not a court of summary jurisdiction. He urged the court to abide by its decisions.In her ruling, Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara said ‘it is obvious that the defence is not objecting to the application. Then what is the purpose of making a formal application when the defence won’t object to the application?”She held that the objection was based on technicalities and it was not based on substance.She overruled the objection by the defence and allowed the application.