Jan 25, 2012, 11:50 AM
The alleged arson case involving Lamin B. Jarju and 13 others recently proceeded at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Jeng.
When the case was called, the trial magistrate told the court that one of the accused persons, Ebrima Bah, who was 16 years old, should not be remanded at Mile 2, according to the provision of the Children Act.
She therefore granted him bail for him to go to the registrar and sign a bail bond that he would appear in court on every adjourned date.
Prosecutor, Chief Inspector Camara, rose and made an application to add the name of Sutay Ceesay and Pa Momodou Lamin Jassey on the charge sheet, who were at large.
However, defence counsel Borry S. Touray objected, saying that since the inception of the case, they had never been informed that the two were part of the case.
Counsel argued that their names had not been on record since the inception of the case and they were not being informed on record that there were accused persons who were at large.
“Is this the time that the prosecution realizes that the two should be part of this case when they conducted their investigation before mentioning the case?” Counsel Touray asked.
He said the fact of the case was that Sutay was arrested two days by the police because he was a complainant along with others when one Alieu Badara Ceesay took a firearm and shot at them.
Counsel Touray further submitted that the case file was suppressed by the police for reasons best known to them.
According to him, the application to put Sutay among the suspects was to deny him bail, adding that for Momodou Lamin Jassey, he was put in the case because he is a brother to Lamin Jarju.
He said the prosecution should tell the court why since the inception of the case in August, the two were not mentioned.
“The decision lies on the hands of the court. I therefore urge the court to disallow the application,” he stated.
Delivering her ruling, the trial magistrate said there was nothing in the court that shows that the two were potential suspects.
She therefore disallowed the prosecution’s application.
PW1 Valentine Mbeki then continued his testimony telling the court that he had compound documents, which were later shown to the court.
He said the accused persons were cutting the cashew trees and while that was happening, Francis went to Lamin Jarju, Pa Jessey and Nuha Saidykhan to talk with them but they refused and burnt down the farm.
They told them to leave the place because it belongs to Lamin Jarju, the witness said.
He said he later reported the case to Yundum Police Station where he made a statement.
Mbeki said he did not know how many cashew trees were burnt down.
Under cross-examination, the witness said they burnt down the trees that were bearing fruits.
He said the day they cut the trees was the same day they burnt them down, adding that they burnt the tree trunks into charcoals and sold it.
He said the documents he brought to court were his.
The case was adjourned till 2 December 2013.