State cautioned to file bill of indictment in defilement case

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The presiding Judge Simeon A. Abi on Monday cautioned the State to file the bill of indictment in the criminal trial involving one Modou Secka before the court sitting in January 2018.

The trial judge gave this warning following application made by the defence lawyer Pa Harry Jammeh, urging the court to strike out the case for want of diligent prosecution by the State.

Lawyer P.H. Jammeh argued that the case was typically a case of much ado about nothing, adding that the case has been hanging on the accused person’s head for a while without taking steps to prosecute the case.

He further argued that the State in the court sitting in November 2017 made an undertaking that the bill of indictment would be filed before the December sitting but had failed to do so.

Defence Counsel Pa Harry Jammeh said the accused person was traumatised by the case and wants to move on with his life, urging the court to discharge the accused.

In his response, State Counsel B. Sanneh informed the court that the case file just arrived at the Attorney General’s Chambers and has been handed over to counsel for legal opinion.

In his brief ruling, Presiding Judge S.A. Abi disclosed that upon hearing state counsel B. Sanneh’s report that the case file was now in possession of the state, he would forbear from striking out the case as urged by the defence.

He cautioned that if on the next adjourned date of the court sitting there no bill of indictment before the court, the case would be stuck out.

The matter was adjourned until 29 January 2018, for mention.

It would be recalled that the accused, Modou Secka, was charged with a single count of defilement of a girl under the age of 18 years contrary to section 127 of the Criminal Code.

The prosecution alleged that the accused on or about the month of July 2017 at Basse T. Junction in the Upper River Region unlawfully had carnal knowledge of girl under the age 18 years (name withheld) without her consent.

Author: Bruce Asemota in Basse