Oct 14, 2010, 12:33 PM
The appeal was in respect of Sisoho's earlier conviction by the Banjul Magistrates' Court for issuing two falsified cheques to one Musa Jallow of the Link Enterprises.
The cheques amounted to D533,740.00 and were issued for payment of goods Sisoho had receivedfrom Link Enterprises.
Delivering his judgement on the appeal case, Justice Agim stated that the ex-Gambian Turkey consul was charged with issuing false cheques contrary to section 296A(I) (B) of the Criminal Code (Amendment) Decree No.86 of 1996 which provides that " any person who issues any cheque in respect of any account with any bank when he has no reasonable ground (proof of which shall be on him) to believe that there are funds or adequate funds in the account to pay the amount specified on the cheque within the normal course of banking business shall be guilty of an offence."
He added that there is nothing in that section requiring an accused to show reasonable grounds for issuing a false cheque in respect of an account with a bank when he knew that he had no funds in the account to pay the amount specified on the cheque. The provision, continued Justice Agim, had placed on the accused the evidential burden to prove that he had reasonable grounds to believe that there are funds or adequate funds in the account to pay the amount specified in the cheque.
"It did not require that the accused should furnish a reasonable excuse or explanation for issuing a cheque when he knew that he had no money in his account with the bank,"he stated, adding that the said cheque was false because it is issued in respect of an account with a bank by a person who knew very well that he had no funds or sufficient funds in the account to pay the amount specified in the cheque.
"What makes the issuance of the cheque a crime is the fact that the accused had no reasonable grounds to believe that there are funds or adequate funds in the account to pay the amount specified on the cheque and not the purpose for or motive with which the cheque were issued."
to Justice Agim, the evidence had established that Sisoho issued the two
cheques to Musa Jallow with full knowledge that he had no funds in his account
with Standard Chartered Bank's
On the issue of compensation, Justice Agim stated that records also show that Musa Jallow had supplied Sisoho the goods in name of Link Enterprises, saying it is clear from the evidence that Musa Jallow, operating under the name and style of Link Enterprises, had suffered material loss in the consequence of the offence committed by Sisoho.
"In light of the foregoing, I uphold that the conviction of the appellant and the order that the appellant pay the complainant compensation in the sum of D533,740.00 is justified in fact and law".
"I also hold that the appeal lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed".