Treason Trial: Defense’s request for extension of time rejected

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By Yusufu S. Bangura

In the ongoing treason trial of Amadu Koita Makalo and 11 others, allegedly involved in the failed coup attempt on November 26, 2024, Justice Komba Kamanda has rejected a request from the defense team for an extension of time to submit no-case submissions.

“I have heard M. Pious Sesay’s request for an extension of time, but the application is refused,” stated Justice Kamanda.

Earlier, Justice Kamanda noted that lawyers representing the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, and 9th accused persons—F. Mansaray, A.S. Sesay, E.T. Koroma, and Ady Macauley—had all submitted their no-case submissions to the court. State Counsel Yusuf Isaac Sesay confirmed receipt of these submissions.

“My Lord, we can confirm receiving the no-case submissions,” said State Counsel Sesay.

Pious Sesay informed the court that the lawyers representing accused persons Amadu Koita Makalo, Hassan Leigh, Tamba Yamba, Kabba Kamara, and Abdul Sorie Hassan Kamara had been unable to file their no-case submissions as ordered.

Sesay conveyed the apologies of the defaulting counsels, stating that their delay was not intended to disrespect the court’s order. “On behalf of the defaulting counsels, I’m apologizing and requesting that you show mercy as they are ready to submit on or before the next adjourned date,” he pleaded.

Justice Kamanda, however, denied the request for an extension, emphasizing that court orders must be obeyed, as demonstrated by the other counsels who had submitted their submissions on time. He further ruled that the state has one week to respond to the defense’s no-case submissions.

“As far as I am concerned, there is no case submission before me for the other accused persons. I will only give eight minutes to any counsel who may want to make oral submissions on behalf of their clients,” Justice Kamanda responded when asked by State Prosecutor Sesay about the status of the 11th and 12th accused persons.

He added that it was not mandatory to allow more than eight minutes per accused for oral submissions, as all essential points should have been included in the written submissions.

Additionally, Lawyer Hassan Kamara stated, “Since our request for no-case submissions has not been approved, I will be leading evidence in chief for the 5th and 11th accused persons.”

The matter has been adjourned to Thursday, June 13, 2024.

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