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In Malian Business Woman's Case Court Rules in favour of Defence

May 6, 2009, 5:01 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Following a no case submission made by Defence Counsel, Kebba Sanyang, on the 4th May 2009, Senior Magistrate Abdoulie Mbake of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court ruled in favour of the defence and upheld the no case submission on Count One with which the accused person, Musa Sidibeh, was charged, that is obtaining goods by false pretence.

The defence counsel in his submission pointed out that it was true law that in every criminal charge before a court of law, the onus is on the prosecution to prove the charge against the accused beyond all reasonable doubt. He cited section 144 of the Evidence Act no.14 of 1994. He was of the view that the prosecution had woefully failed to discharge this duty as far as count one was concerned, and that the accused was under no obligation to open his defence on count one. He went further to elaborate on the meaning of false pretence and how it related to the case under review. He stated that the prosecution witnesses emphasized that the representation made by the accused was not false but real. He urged the court to discharge and acquit the accused on count one, hence the prosecution's inability to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt as required by law.

The prosecutor in reply urged the court to overrule the defence counsel's submission of no case to answer. He supported his argument by referring to the testimonies of the prosecution's witnesses and some exhibits tendered.

Magistrate Mbake ruled in favour of the defence after going through the arguments of both parties. He therefore discharged the accused on count one.

The defence counsel also stated that he would make another no case submission on count two.

According to Count Two, the accused made a document without authority, contrary to section 332 of the criminal code.

The particulars of offence stated that the accused on or about the month of October, 2006 at Serrekunda obtained 150 tie and dye clothes from one Binta Conateh at the cost of D800 each, which totaled to D120,000 with the pretext that the said order was from State House, knowing or having reason to believe that it was false.