By Hans Ngala, May Thursday, May 25, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Yaoundé – The trial of leaders of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC) which has previously been adjourned on numerous occasions has once more been adjourned to June 7th.
The Yaoundé Military Tribunal announced the date for the leaders and 25 others who were arrested in January and charged with “acts of terrorism” and said it was going to look only into the issue of bail for Agbor Balla and Fontem. It declined bail for Mancho Bibixy who led what has become known as the “Coffin Revolution”.
At the start of hearings, the government commissioner (prosecutor) said he was not “hostile” to a provisional release for Balla and Fontem that is accompanied by placement under judicial supervision. “The Public Prosecutor is not opposed to the putting under judicial supervision” of Felix Agbor Nkongho and Neba Fontem Aforteka’a, said the government commissioner, reports AFP.
The same prosecutor rejected same bail terms for the other 25 accused.
Judicial supervision means that the two leaders are released from prison but are “bound by a number of obligations that the court will determine,” Claude Assira, one of the lawyers, told AFP.
The prosecution argued that any decision to release the duo on bail should be accompanied by measures that prohibit them from leaving the country including a monetary deposit. The judges then adjourned the trial until June 7, when they will rule on the request for bail.
Agbor Balla, a lawyer, and Neba Fontem, a university professor, are the main protagonists of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society consortium (CACSC), banned in January by the authorities after they called for strikes in English-speaking areas of the country against marginalization charges
The case which first came up for hearing February 13 was later adjourned to March 23rd and after that was again adjourned to April 27th and later to May 24th. The latest adjournment is for June 7, making it the 5th time it is consecutively being adjourned.
Some people have speculated that the judge may not grant the bail because government wants to use them as a bait in August and use that as a reason for schools which they have claimed are going on, to resume in English-speaking regions.