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Deputy Imam acquitted and discharged

Oct 23, 2012, 10:45 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

The Special Criminal Court yesterday acquitted and discharged one Almamy Gibba, believed to be 65 years old, and said to be the deputy imam of Madiana village, who was accused of rape.

It was alleged that on 31 May 2011, at Madiana village in the Kombo North District of the West Coast Region, Gibba unlawfully had carnal knowledge of a 13-year-old girl, without her consent.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Emmanuel Nkea stated that challenged by the plea of the accused person, the prosecution called four witnesses and tendered two exhibits in support of their case.

He said that the prosecution’s case was that, on the said date and time, the victim (PW3),] was sent to the house of the accused person to get a pressing iron, and while at the house, the accused asked the victim to get into his daughter’s room, and as she got into the room, the accused closed the front and the back doors.

The trial judge further added that according to evidence, the accused went inside the room to meet the victim, tied her up by the hands and forced a hand scarf into her mouth, and raped her.

Still reading the judgment, the judge said the accused person denied the charge in his testimony before the court, and maintained that he had being framed by PW2, as a result of the dispute that arose from his position as the deputy imam of the village, and his refusal to attend Friday prayers.

He said the accused person also told the court that he is sexual inactive and, therefore, he could not have committed the offence of rape.

Justice Nkea adduced that if the accused used force on the victim as she alleged, that force would have normally had some trace of bruises, and the alleged raped was believed  to have taken place on 31 May 2011.

“The victim was examined the very next day. I have looked at the treatment card, exhibit A carefully, and observed the diagnosis thereon as abnormal vagina discharge and no sign of penetrating sexual intercourse or struggle,” he stated.

The judge further stated that his understanding of the above diagnosis was that the abnormal vagina discharge was not as a result of any recent sexual activity.

Furthermore, the fact that the victim presented with an abnormal vagina discharge was suggestive of the fact that she could be suffering from some form of sexually transmitted disease.

He added that there was no evidence linking or associating the abnormal vagina discharge on the victim to the accused person.

Justice Nkea further stated he had equally looked at the medical report exhibit A, carefully and the medical findings record.

He said he had not seen any medical evidence in support of any recent sexual intercourse on the victim, further stating that he reached the conclusion that there was no corroborating evidence direct or circumstantial in support of the alleged rape, which he shall hold as a fact.

It was for this reason that he had believed the evidence of the accused person that there was a plan in the village to frame him up, which he shall also hold as a fact.

“The prosecution had failed to prove their case beyond any reasonable doubt, and I consequently acquit and discharge the accused person,” he declared.