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Prosecution ordered to pay D500 for failing to proceed in nurses’ trial

Apr 1, 2014, 9:14 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay & Fatou Jallow

Principal Magistrate Dayoh Small of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court Monday ordered the prosecution to pay D500 for failing to proceed in the trial involving four former nurses at the Brikama Health Centre.

The accused persons Ensa Jarju, Ndey Touray, Adama Danso and Fatou Sonko are charged on three counts of rash or negligence, giving false information and official corruption.

When the case was called, the prosecutor, Sergeant 1345 Camara, told the court they should proceed with the continuation of evidence by the fourth prosecution witness, but the witness was on exam and could not made it to the court.

He said based on that, he was applying for an adjournment.

In response, defence counsel LK Mboge said the defence was opposed to the application made by the prosecutor because the court had ordered accelerated hearing in the case.

He said if the witness was not available it would be diligent for the prosecution to call another witness so the case could proceed.

The witness was in court on the last adjourned date but did not tell the court he would be on exams and had wasted the time of the court, counsel said, adding that the accused had the right to fair trial.

An adjournment was not a matter of right but at the discretion of the court in the interest of justice, said counsel Mboge.

“I therefore urge the court to refuse the application and let the trial proceed,” said counsel.

In his ruling, the trial magistrate said the reason given by the prosecution was not cogent.

“I hereby adjourn the case till 2 April 2014 and order the prosecutor to pay D500,” the magistrate declared.

Count one statedthat Ensa Jarju, Ndey Touray, Adama Danso and Fatou Sonko, on 23 November 2013, between 2100 and 2200 hours at Brikama Health Centre, in Kombo Central, being employees of the medical and health department at the time acted in a rash or negligent manner causing the death of Binta Bah’s newly-born baby, thereby committed an offence.

Count two stated that the accused on the same time and place, told the officers at Brikama CID office that the photograph report dated 23 November 2013 was prepared by the afternoon shift which information they knew or believed to be false.

Count three stated that the accused persons on the same date and place, being employees of the medical and health department in charge of the labour ward at the time, after delivering of Binta Bah’s newly-born baby, corruptly obtained D1,500 from Isatou Sowe, in the discharge of their duties in their office, part of which was paid to them.