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Former SOS mother discharged and acquitted

Nov 28, 2012, 9:19 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Magistrate Dawda Jallow of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court recently discharged and acquitted Bintou Njie, former SOS mother.

Bintou Njie was first arraigned on 17 February 2010 charged with sexual abuse contrary to the Children’s Act 2005.

There was an amended charge adding another count of sexual exploitation of a child contrary to the Tourism Offences Act 2003, against her.

She denied both charges.

In his judgement, Magistrate Jallow summarised the testimonies of the six witnesses called by the prosecution.

He stated that in her defence, the accused testified under oath and called no witness, but tendered three exhibits.

Magistrate Jallow adduced that the evidence of PW2, PW3, PW4 and PW6 did not meet the minimum requirement in law to corroborate the evidence of PW1 because of the fact that all that they said was what they were told by PW1, the complainant.

He said the cautionary statement of the accused tendered did not come from the same source as that of the other prosecution witnesses.

Magistrate Jallow indicated that it was clear on the face of the cautionary statement that no independent witness was present when it was recorded and PW4, the detective officer who recorded it, said in his evidence that he did not see the need for an independent witness to be present, because it was merely a cautionary statement.

“I hold that no probative value can be attached to the cautionary statement,” Magistrate Jallow told the court.

He posited further that he was not convinced that the prosecution had fully discharged the burden of proving beyond reasonable doubts that the complainant was sexually molested or exploited.

“I therefore resolve and hold that the prosecution has woefully failed to prove the offences alleged against the accused beyond reasonable doubts. The accused is accordingly acquitted and discharged,” Magistrate Jallow concluded.

Bintou Njie was represented by Lawyer Lamin Camara.