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In D5M Basse Sub-Treasury Case, Defence Objection Overruled

Feb 20, 2009, 6:23 AM | Article By: Modou Sanyang

Justice Joseph Wowo of the Banjul High Court on Tuesday 17th February 2009 overruled the defence objection in the ongoing D5M criminal trial involving Sukuta Makalo.

Mr Sukuta Makalo was alleged to have stolen the sum of D5M while being posted at the Basse Sub-Treasury.

He denies the charge.

Lawyer Borry Touray earlier objected to the first Prosecution Witness (PW1) testimony on the grounds that PW1 did not make any statement to the police.

According to him, the trial at the high court, as opposed to the Magistrates' Court, was that the summary of the evidence, a list of witness statements and exhibits, all should be attached to the indictment. He said the significance of attaching witness statements was to offer an opportunity to the defence in advance to enable the accused to know the evidence to be adduced before the trial for the purpose of cross-examination.

Defence Counsel, Borry Touray, further submitted that it also assists the defence to know whether the particular witness is giving consistent testimony and also it give an opportunity to compare his evidence in-chief and that of his statement he made. "If there are inconsistencies in the witness evidence he may be confronted with his statement to test his veracity," he added.

He revealed that these are weapons for the defence and it may also be helpful to the prosecution if they want to treat the individual as a hostile witness.

In response, State Counsel Shanaka, said the objection raised by the defence was that PW1 did not make any statement to the police. He said nothing is stated in the Criminal Procedure Code saying that it is a must or a rule that a witness who is going to testify in court should first gave a statement to the police. He quoted a section of the CPC to strengthen his submission. He added that the defence had been served with the summery of evidence and that no prejudicial will caused to the accused by the particular witness who did not gave statement to the police. He said PW1 is an auditor and he was going to testify on the audit report.

The case was eventually adjourned until 1st April 2009.