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Defence counsel withdraws from bigamy case

Janaury 14, 2016 By Regina Pratt

One of the defence counsels in the bigamy trial of Alie Kabba, Hindolo M. Gevao, yesterday informed the court that he was withdrawing his service as advocate for the accused after Magistrate Mohamed Seray-Wurie overruled an objection raised by the defence team.

The incident unfolded after a member of the defence team, Francis Ben Keifala, raised an objection against one of the documents tendered by the prosecution, which the magistrate overruled. Mr. Gevao pleaded with the magistrate to allow their objection but to no avail.

Gevao thus noted that in that circumstance there was no need for a defence, adding that it was within the legal right for the defence to object to the tendering of the said document.

Private legal practitioner, Ibrahim Sourie, who is associating with the prosecution, pleaded with the magistrate to grant the defence team permission to go through the documents, noting that the Administrator-General, a witness for the prosecution, had called on the magistrate to grant the defence that opportunity.

But Magistrate Seray-Wurie replied: “I have made my point,” adding that “if I decide to allow you it is because of what the Administrator-General has said.”

He further told the defence lawyer that, “You had the opportunity to confirm with your client,” and that he would not allow him to waste the court’s time and that he only had five minutes.

A visibly furious Gevao stormed out of the courtroom, signaling an end to his participation in the bigamy and perjury trial of the opposition figurehead.

Meanwhile, Francis Ben Keifala, who remains with the defence team, also objected to the document being tendered because “it has been altered” and “does not have an official stamp”, while being “accompanied by a National Revenue Authority receipt that could not be certified”.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Samuel Kamara, who is lead prosecutor in the matter, retorted that the defence lawyer had no right to object the document being tendered on relevance and custodianship.

The matter continues.

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