By Ousman A.Marong
YankubaDarboe, an executive member of ‘Operation 3-Years Jonta’ (3YJ) has vowed that they(Operation 3-Years Jotna’) will never go back to the court.
Darboe was reacting to the re-arrest of the leadership of thegroup earlier on Wednesday immediately after they were discharged by the HighCourt in Banjul.
“Ifwe are taken to Mile II Central Prison we will remain there. We will never goback to any fuc***g court, never again on this matter! If they have a case againstus, let them bring it. They brought their case and could not continue withtheir own charges because they know there is no merit in their case. Then theyfiled a ‘nolle prosequi’ and as soon as we walked out of the court as freepersons they rearrested us and charged us with the same charges they failed to prove”,Darboe said.
Hedescribed the action of the authorities as a sign of dictatorship, saying thatsuch should never again be condoned by anybody in this country.
Darboecalled on the Gambia Bar Association and other conscious minds to stand upagainst the move he described as barbaric.
“Thisis nonsense and an abuse of our judicial process. We have no confidence ingoing to any other court with these charges they brought against us. If that isthe system, we are happy to be in Mile II until this government goes. We willmake sure these police tactics end here,” he further said.
Darboe,an international human rights lawyer, revealed that the ‘independent’ judge whopresided over the case warned the state to establish a case against them (3YJ)or he would strike out the case for lack of evidence which the state agreed to bywithdrawing the case but later decided to re-arrest them after they weredischarged.
Thestate recently made an application to the High for the case to be withdrawn andthere was no objection by the defence.
Thegroup were arrested in January 2020 in connection with a peaceful protest they held,which later became violent resulting in some confrontation between the demonstratorsand the police. The leadership of the group were eventually charged forprotesting after the permit issued to the group was revoked by the police.
Afterthe prosecution closed its case in December 2020, and the defence made a “nocase to answer” submission, but before the court could proceed to make adetermination on the matter, the prosecution made an application to