Trial of Anglophones: Between Poor Translation, Uniform Witnesses and Dismissal of Hon Mbah Ndam
Yaoundé, Cameroon-July 27, 2017- 9:00 PM (Cameroon News Agency) Attendance at the military court Thursday July 27, 2017 was not as full as was the case during the first trial. Population reduced as well as number of lawyers but it seems the determination has not died. The look on the faces of supporters who trooped was that of an anxious people waiting for the liberation of their messiah.
Barrister Agbor Balla who has been confined in his cell since July 7, 2017 came dressed in suits with bearded chin protesting the recent incident in which they were denied visitors and access to their gadgets.
The son of revolutionist, Mancho Bibixy was brought to court to see his father standing trial.
The real case against the two leaders Barrister Agbor Balla , Dr Fontem Neba , Mancho Bibixy and 24 others started this Thursday .
Hon. Mbah Ndam Sidelined
The judge at the Military court rejected the status of SDF Parliamentarian as a defense counsel of the Anglophones on grounds that he was an MP of the State and cannot be against the very State he represents at the National Assembly. “What was curious is that for the past seven months I have been acting as one of the defense counsel but the State has never intervened, but the withdrawal has no impact.” Hon Joseph Mbah Ndam told reporters.
Confusion In The Court With Translation Difficulties
A major obstacle at the beginning of the real trial of Anglophones was the fact that the French Translator made several errors especially with judicial terms and Hon Mbah Ndam says if it continues, the wrong verdict might be given to the detainees. He said, “Francophone Lawyers and Magistrates are yet to be schooled on the criminal procedure code, they do not have the background. How do you expect that small girl (referring to the interpreter) to understand the technicalities of the law, she is too small to do that and the process might be full of irregularities.”
7 Uniform Witnesses Did Not Recognize Any of The 27 Presented
For the first time, the prosecuting witnesses were presented with seven men all security forces coming to testify on the December 8 incident in Bamenda. But none of them was not able to recognize those presented as perpetrators of the acts.
The court session lasted for six hours and was adjourned to August 31,2017.