May 12, 2008, 5:04 AM
The Kanifing Magistrates' Court, presided over by Principal Magistrate Ik Palla yesterday delivered ruling that goes in favour of the prosecution in the ongoing criminal case involving one Mr. Alieu BM John, who is standing trial on 11 count charges, ranging from fraud to forgery.
The ruling came as a result of the Defence Counsel's objection to the tendering of the five question documents obtained by a handwriting expert, signed by both the accused Mr. Alieu BM John and the complainant, Mr. Alhagie MB Jagne as an exhibit before the court.
Defence Counsel argued that there was no proper foundation laid for the admission of the documents and that they do not know on what circumstances they have been obtained.
He further argued that, the said documents were labeled by the witness A-E for identification and that some of them are photocopies, urging the court to reject them. He cited Section 101 of the Evidence Act of 1994 to back-up his claim.
The prosecution in replied argued that, the witness himself was the one who identified the documents and labeled them as question document A-E for identification purposes.
As to the photocopies, he argued that the documents were all originated from the accused himself as the author of all the five question documents.
Principal Magistrate IK Palla, in his ruling, stated that the documents were properly identified as being put by the Prosecutor. He said each of the documents were properly marked and referred to as question documents A-E and the witness also identified them as such.
In view of that Magistrate, IK Palla stated, he was satisfied that Section 101 of the Evidence Act 1994 cited by the defence could not be sustained.
He therefore overruled the defence objection and admitted the documents collectively marked as Exhibit P2.
The case was adjourned to 20th October 2009.