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Court Subpoenas Prisons Boss, Medical Officer in Musa Suso Case

Apr 17, 2009, 6:25 AM | Article By: Modou Sanyang

Magistrate Kayode sitting at the Banjul Magistrates' Court yesterday issued a subpoena to the Director General and the Medical Officer of prisons to appear before the court today 17th April 2009 to address the court on the concerns of the defence about the state of health of the accused Musa Suso.

This is as a result of an application the defence counsel Lamin Jobarteh made before the court regarding the health condition of his client Musa Suso.

According to Mr Jobarteh, the court order made on 27th March 2009 to the effect that the accused Musa Suso be taken for medical treatment was not complied with by the prisons authority.

He informed the court that instead they removed him from the cell in which he was kept and took him to a one-man cell where he was given a bucket to urinate in. He revealed that the accused Musa Suso collapsed in the cell but was never taken to hospital. He added that the defence was not prepared to proceed with the case in the condition in which the accused is.

Mr Jobarteh then urged the court to order the prisons authorities to take the accused straight from the court to the hospital for treatment.

In response, Superintendent Lamin Sowe, a prisons officer, told the court that they had personnel who were trained as medic by the RVTH who normally attended to inmates or detainees.

It is they, he said, who recommended that inmates or detainees be taken to hospital for treatment. This, he added, happened after they had attended to an inmate or detainee.

He said Musa Suso's case was reported to them by the Chief Officer that the court made an order for him to be taken to the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital (RVTH).

According to him, Superintendent Bakary Kujabi, a medic at the prisons, attended to the accused Musa Suso.

In his ruling Magistrate Kayode said, "It is my considered opinion that from the answers given to the question of the defence counsel, Superintendent Lamin Sowe is not competent to speak on the state of the health condition of the accused."

He added. "I therefore conclude that the evidence of the Director General of Prisons and the Prison Medical Officer on this issue is very relevant, more so in the light of the earlier order of this court regarding the issue for medical attention to the accused." he stated.

"A subpoena is hereby ordered to be issued and served on both Director General of Prisons and the Prisons Medical Officer to appear before the court on 17th April 2009 to address the court on the concerns of the defence about the state of health of the accused," Magistrate Kayode concluded.

Hearing continues today.