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Cameroon:Court rules Ambazonia leaders are Cameroonians, orders hearing to start

The military tribunal in Yaounde has ruled the ten separatist leaders standing trial are all Cameroonians though with refugee and and asylum-seeking status.

A ruling that did not satisfy the defense counsel whose request to appeal the decision was turned down by the judge Col. Mem Michel who rather ordered for hearing to start.

This did not sit down well with the defense counsel as the lawyers decided to stage a walkout insisting they will appeal the ruling before the Mfoundi High Court before any hearing can start.

With the proceeding hitting a snag as the lawyers walked out, the judge had no option but to adjourn the matter to March 7 hoping the defense counsel must have come back to their « senses ».

The judge passed the ruling on the status of the accused after the prosecution and the defense counsel both presented documents to back their claims.

First stepped the prosecution who presented identification documents of the accused which they say were obtained from General Delegation for National Security, DGSN.

In raising their observations on the documents, the defense counsel described them as fake. Barrister Etta Bessong Junior said the documents have to be presented with the originals alongside the photocopies but the prosecution has failed to do so thus prayed the judge to throw out the documents.

After several submissions, it was also time for the defense counsel to show proof of the status’ of the detained Ambazonia leaders.

Barrister Ndong Christopher produced two groups of documents ; one from recognising Shufai Blaise Berinyuy, Nfor Ngala Nfor, Tassange Wilfred and Eyambe Elias as refugees.

The other set of documents recognised Julius Ayuk Tabe, Kwanga Cornelius, Ogork Egbe, Nde Fidelis, Kimeng Henry and Awasum Augustine as Asylum seekers.

After several objections from the civil party and prosecution on the authenticity of the documents, the judge was forced to suspend hearing for close to an hour before returning to give his verdict which did not sit down well with the defense counsel.

It is now left to see if they will return to court on March 7 as they insist on filing an appeal at the Mfoundi High Court.

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