On Wednesday June 8 2016 the entire defense team comprising of the most senior members of the Gambian Bar Association representing lawyer Ousainou Darboe and his co-defendants angrily walked out of the courtroom in Banjul. The dramatic action was the culmination of a deliberate and persistent effort by the regime of Yahya Jammeh to railroad innocent citizens through a corrupt and subverted judicial process. Using mercenary judges, unethical prosecutors, lying and conniving security personnel, the government has effectively conspired to engage in a criminal persecution enterprise using the court proceedings as a foil. Week after week, the presiding judges, prosecutors, prison officers and the other myriad of security services have engaged in overt schemes to violate the constitution, trial procedures and even the enforcement of its own orders regarding the rights of the innocents they have been illegally detaining since mid-April. They have demonstrated utter contempt for the law and procedure and insisted on continuing in their immoral and unlawful conduct in the guise of a trial.
Clear trial procedures requested by the defense such as staying proceedings until constitutional matters before the Supreme Court are settled are routinely denied by the presiding judge obviating the cardinal legal principle that obliges lower courts to defer to the superior court on matters pending before them. Additionally, the presiding judge has consistently refused to enforce her own orders in matters relating to the welfare of the detainees, in effect allowing prison officers to continue violating the rights of the prisoners. All of which point to a judge and judicial system determined to deliver justice or even the pretense of fairness
The defendants, their gallant lawyers and the Gambian people have put their foot down and will no longer per take in the farce of a trial that the tyrannical regime of Yahya JAMMEH is pursuing. The detainees will not put up of a defense and will consider the entire charade the judiciary is engaged in as equivalent to the worst Apartheid South Africa directed at the ANC. The dictatorship will have to take full ownership of its immoral judicial chicanery and deliver its precooked verdicts on its own. Lawyer Ousainou Darboe in his only statement today (Thursday June 9 2016) after being insolently told by the corrupt presiding judge to proceed in his own defense made it clear that he and the rest of the defendants will have absolutely nothing to do with her bias proceedings. As we enter this phase of our struggle to end tyranny and regain our country and freedom, we urge all patriots to remain steadfast in our determination to reclaim our Gambia. Do not despair, do not be fearful and remain focused on the objective.
Issued by UDP