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Sabally’s trial reaches climax, as case set for address

Jul 10, 2015, 11:24 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The trial involving the former Secretary General and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Momodou Sabally, indicted on an 8-count charge including economic crimes, negligence and abuse of office, was yesterday adjourned for address before Justice Amadi of the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

This was after the defence announced the end of their case.

When the case was called, DPP Barkun and O. Danso appeared for the state while senior counsel Gaye appeared for the accused.

Justice Amadi then delivered the ruling on the admissibility of a letter the state applied to tender in court as part of their case.

Delivering the ruling, Justice Amadi said on 6 July 2015, the DPP applied to tender a document and asked the accused if he recognized the document and the accused said he authored the document.

However, senior counsel Gaye objected on the grounds that the document was “irrelevant” to the charge.

Counsel Gaye said the document came into existence six months after December 2014.

Counsel said he had not been served notice that the prosecution wanted to tender the document, adding that “the law of evidence does not allow trial by ambush”.

Counsel said the document could not come from DPP and be tendered in court, instead it should be tendered through a prosecution witness.

In reply, the DPP stated that counsel’s objection had no place in court, and it was “speculative”, as such “it has no place in law”.

He said the sections cited by counsel were applicable to only civil cases and not criminal cases, adding that the prosecution intended to discredit the accused by the document.

DPP added that the document was relevant because the accused wrote it, and urged the court to overrule the objection.

Justice Amadi said he had listened to both sides, and he did not think the DPP had in mind the law of evidence.

He said how the document came about in the hands of the DPP did not matter, adding that the accused was asked about the document and he said he was the one who wrote it and, on that ground alone, it would be difficult for him to reject the document.

“I will admit and tender the document and urge counsel on both sides to study the document and address me specifically on it,” he said.

The document was then tendered and marked in evidence as an exhibit.

Senior counsel Gaye then said that was the case of the defence, and they were not calling any witness.

Justice Amadi then gave the DPP 7 days to file and serve his address and the defence 7 days to file and serve their address.

The case was adjourned for 27 August 2015, for reply on points of law or adoption.