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Defence makes no-case submission in UDP militant’s trial

Mar 13, 2014, 9:50 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Lawyer Ousainou Darboe yesterday made a no-case-to-answer submission in the case involving Solo Sandeng, a militant of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Dayoh.

In his submission, lawyer Darboe asked the court to acquit and discharge the accused person, based on the fact that the prosecution did not lead any evidence to warrant a defence.

“I wish to invite the court to look at the charge sheet dated 23 October 2013, which charged the accused of giving false information to a public servant,” Darboe said.

The particulars of offence stated that the accused wrote an application for a permit to stage a social gathering. An application was different from giving information, counsel added.

“An application is a request for something which can be refused or granted,” said Darboe.

The prosecution said the accused applied to stage a social gathering, but rather held a political rally, he further stated.

The prosecution had called four witnesses. There was no doubt that the first prosecution witness issued the permit for a social gathering.

“It is clear from PW1’s evidence that he did not go to Tanji in order to see that the accused staged a political rally, and not a social gathering and musical entertainment,” Darboe said.

The second prosecution witness, who was the custodian of the hall where the program was held, said that the accused brought to him a permit for a social gathering, and he asked for a fee of D1,500 which was paid.

This witness said there was musical entertainment, and the witness himself had lunch prepared by the gathering, and also said that Ousainou Darboe came there but said this was not a meeting to the police and the NIA.

He said PW2 stated what the permit was for, and what the accused did at the hall, adding that the third prosecution witness said he was not aware of any meeting in Tanji, and did not even know the accused and, shortly after the event, he was removed as the alkalo.

He said the fourth prosecution witness, said he had never seen the accused and was not even in Tanji during the event.

“I urged the court to discharge and acquit the accused,” said counsel Darboe.

The police prosecutor, Sub inspector E. Sarr, in response, said the permit given to the accused revealed that they were organising a social gathering and musical entertainment, and based on that the application was granted by the first prosecution witness.

The first witness informed the court that if he knew the permit was not for a social gathering, he would not have approved it.

The second witness said the people who went to the center are UDP members, and that was why he led them to the alkalo’s compound.

“By merely introducing themselves as UDP members entails everything,” said the prosecutor.

He added that even though the alkalo was not aware of the meeting, he was called and informed that there were some people who wanted to use the center.

“The fact of the issue is the content of the application. I urge the court to call the accused person to enter into his defence,” said the prosecutor.

The case was adjourned to 17 March 2014, for ruling.