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Pending determination of age

Mar 12, 2010, 2:29 PM | Article By: Sainey MK Marenah

Prisons Authorities To Transfer Murder Suspect

Justice Moses Richards of the Special Criminal Court in Banjul, recently ordered the prison authorities to immediately transfer one Dodou Secka, a murder suspect, from State Central Prison Mile 2, to the Juvenile Wing at Old Jeshwang, pending the determination of his age.

Justice Richards further instructed that the accused be re-examined in order to ascertain his actual age by a dentist, and a proper medical certificate be issued.

This development follows a bitter argument between defence counsel Sagarr Jahateh and the state prosecutor, Buba Bojang, over the actual age of the accused person.

Defence counsel Jahateh informed the court that at the time of committing the offence the accused person was at a tender age, and that he should be tried in chambers or go to the Children's Court.

Counsel Jahateh also declared that, "the prolong detention of the accused is tantamount to many consequences on him."

"Your Lordship I'm applying to tender the birth certificate of the accused so as to ascertain his age," she told the court.

In reply to the comments made by the defence counsel, state prosecutor Buba Bojang cited a section of the Evidence Act, to support his objections to tendering the said birth certificate.

According to him, the birth certificate was not admissible. As he put it, "it can be obtained even through the back way, because it is not the original copy."

It would be recalled that the accused on 31 August 2009 at Tobacco Road in Banjul, allegedly killed one Jaja Cham by stabbing him with a knife.