Defence says situation becoming messy
NOVEMBER 27, 2014 By Alusine Sesay
The prosecutor in the ongoing court martial trial of 14 alleged mutinous soldiers has again asked for a week’s adjournment to enable him reply to the ‘no case submission’ by the defence.
But the lead defence counsel, Julius Nye Cuffie, objected to another adjournment and noted that the situation is becoming messy after series of adjournments.
Prosecutor Gerald Soyei was due to reply the defence’s ‘no case submission’ on 12 November but asked for two weeks adjournment, which was vehemently opposed to by the defence. However, Judge Advocate Otto During granted the prosecutor his wish and adjourned the matter to yesterday, 26 November.
At the court martial yesterday, the prosecutor again requested for more time to reply to the defence, which prompted lead defence counsel Cuffie to apply for the file to be withdrawn for judgement as the prosecution has been granted ample time to reply to their ‘no case submission’.
“How long shall we be coping with adjournment upon adjournment. In the interest of progress and without further delay, we apply that this file be withdrawn for ruling without waiting for the prosecution’s reply,” he submitted.
However, prosecutor Soyei countered that the file should not be withdrawn on the grounds that the rule of natural justice demands that the other side should be heard.
He opined that the maxim ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ is subject to the state of mind of the prosecutor in that “whether my delay to reply to the ‘no case submission’ is calculated, deliberate or tactical, I am submitting that it is none of the above”.
He told the court he had endeavoured and done a substantial part on typing of his reply, but craved the indulgence of the Judge Advocate to grant him a further week to complete his work.
Judge Advocate During ruled in favour of the prosecution, but stated that should the latter fail to present his reply on the next adjourned date, he would have no option but to withdraw the file for ruling.