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In jewellery case, court rules against defence

Apr 11, 2010, 8:55 PM

(Friday, 9th April 2010 issue)
Senior Magistrate Abdoulie Mbacke of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court on 7th April 2010, ruled against defence counsel Neneh Cham Chongan's no-case- submission in the trial of one Isatou Jallow.

The accused, Isatou Jallow is charged with housebreaking and stealing.

Magistrate Mbacke, in his ruling stated that the court had heard from both parties and had concluded that the accused has a case-to-answer.

Noting that the elements of the offence charged had surfaced, Magistrate Mbacke said the prosecution has proven a prima facie case against the accused person. Defence Counsel, Neneh Cham Chongan earlier submitted that for the prosecution to succeed in their case there must be sufficient evidence to support the charges against the accused.

She argued that the evidence of the prosecution witnesses were not relevant and were inconsistent, and noted that it did not also corroborate.

She stated that the evidence of PW1 and PW2 were contradictory, and argued that the evidence of PW1 was based on hearsay.

Defence counsel challenged that PW3 had chosen to affirm, though she is a Muslim. He further argued that it shows that the witness did not want to speak the truth.

According to her, the prosecution had failed to prove the elements of the offence charged and that it also failed to call two important witnesses to shed light on the issue.

Prosecuting officer, Inspector Mballow, replied that the accused has a case-to-answer, arguing that the complainant had kept his jewelleries in his workshop, which he said "was broken into and there was stealing."

Prosecutor Mballow challenged that the missing jewelleries were later found with the accused, and argued that the reason for PW3's affirmation was in order.

He told the court that the prosecution has proved a prima facie case against the accused person and therefore urged the court to call the accused to enter into her defence.