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In NIA Operative Case, Defence Insists it has No Case to Answer

Feb 20, 2009, 6:26 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The trial of Abdou Aziz Dampha, an NIA operative who was charged with giving false information to a public officer, resumed at the Banjul Magistrates' Court before Principal Magistrate Mbai last Tuesday. The proceedings saw the defence counsel Lawyer Jobarteh make a 'no case' submission.

In his submission, Lawyer Jobarteh said that the charge before the court is the accused giving false information to public officers. He said the prosecution is duty bound to show the following; that the information the accused person is alleged to have given has no element of truth and that the information was false.

He said PW1 has not presented evidence to show the information given by the accused was intentionally false. Furthermore, he added, the prosecution has not produced any witnesses who said the accused is not an intelligence officer. He pointed out that the prosecution's evidence was so weak that the court should exercise its power not to call the accused person to enter his defence and moreover the court is the superior power that decides cases. He therefore urged the court to acquit and discharge the accused person.

In his reply, prosecution cadet Inspector Keita said he strongly disagreed with the counsel regarding the 'no case' submission. He said that in support of the charge the prosecution called two witnesses and the counsel came at the time when the prosecution was closing their case.

He said that it is a strict law that before making a 'no case to answer' submission, one must establish the essential evidence. He further told the court that PW1 told the court that he has received the said report, which was written by the accused person. Cadet Inspector added that PW1 also told the court that the said report later went through the normal process and later found the information was untrue. He therefore urged the court to call the accused person to enter his defence.