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Court rejects state objection in UDP militant’s appeal

Jan 23, 2015, 9:49 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Special Criminal Court presided over by Justice Amadi yesterday denied the DPP’s request to dismiss the appeal of UDP militant Lansana Jobarteh.

In his ruling on the grounds of objection filed by the state, the trial judge, Justice Amadi, said the appellant filed a petition of appeal on 9 October 2014 with an 8-paragraph affidavit in support.

He said the respondent filed a 4-paragraph affidavit in opposition and said the motion was moved on 16 October 2014.

He added that counsel for the appellant, Ousainou Darboe, urged the court to allow the appeal without the copy of judgment being attached to it, as at the time of filing the petition of appeal the judgment was not ready.

He urged the court to allow the petition of appeal without being accompanied by a copy of the judgment.

However, the DPP challenged the competence of the appeal.

He said the appellant did not give any reason why he did not have the judgment attached, and did not show any efforts he made to get the judgment.

He said sufficient reasons were not given as to why they did not attach the judgment.

DPP added that what the appellant filed was not a competent appeal.

He asked the court to throw out the application by dismissing it.

The trial judge said it was not in dispute that the appellant was convicted and sentenced to a fine of D50,000 by the lower court.

He said the appellant was convicted on 10 July 2014 and the appeal was filed on 6 August 2014, which showed that the appeal was filed within time.

He said he had reviewed both counsel’s submission and both counsel are relying on section 275 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

He said that filing the appeal without the copy of judgment was irregular, but did not render the appeal incompetent and, therefore, overruled the DPP’s grounds of objection.

On the discretion of the court to allow the appeal without being accompanied by the copy of judgment, he said one of the reasons the court must consider was, why the appellant was seeking for leave unaccompanied by the copy of judgment.

He said the judgment was not for fancy, but for the use of the court and it did not render the petition of appeal incompetent, as what was of vital importance was for the petition of appeal to be filed within time.

The petition of appeal filed on 6 August was hereby deemed properly filed and competent, the judge declared.

“The petitioner is given 21 days to file the copy of judgment together with the exhibits, served to the DPP and filed in court,” he said.