By Linda Agbor,
Hearing in the alleged murder case pitting John Fru Ndi and Co was halted and adjourned to 11 June following disagreement over strange evidence in a case file before the President of the court, Gilbert Schlick, given to him by the State Counsel.
Defence Lawyers were skeptical about the process through which the said file got to the court and that the evidence contained in the file may influence his objectivity on the matter.
According to Lawyer Benjamin Suh Fuh, there are documents in the file which have not been tendered as exhibit through a witness, and which if used, may tempt the judge to go into it and look through those documents.
"We requested him to rule an order that the file be taken away, so that the accused will be judged based on facts, law and not by public rumour, as stipulated by the law in accordance with Article 310 of the Penal Code, which says the court shall be guided by facts and the law and by conscience and not by public rumour and evidence placed before him", Barrister Fuh said.
Still, the file, according to the defence lawyers was handed to him by the State Counsel, instead of the Court Registry, through which the two parties must have scrutinised and even photocopied.
"We should know the state of the evidence in front of him, we don't actually know what is in the file, but given its thickness, it may contain multiple documents, which were rejected during preliminary investigations, so we can't submit our clients to exhibits which have never been tendered", one lawyer said
According to Barrister Joseph Mbah Ndam, the only piece of evidence that has been presented is a copy of Cameroon Tribune and nothing else. He requested the Judge to send the file back to the court registry.
The civil party on its part sees the objections from the defence as unfounded, for, according to them, the documents followed the right procedure.
It took six hours of disagreements before the leading judge decided to adjourn the case on grounds of receivability of documents.
It is expected that before the next case, the problems over the 'thick file' would have been solved to enable the eight accused persons including John Fru Ndi, who have chosen the option to speak under an oath, would begin proving their innocence.
During the last session held in 26 March, the court ruled that enough evidence has been found against the accused, SDF Chairman, John Fru Ndi and Co