May 22, 2009, 7:24 AM
The trial involving Babylon Alkalo, Lamin B. Jarju and 13 others is set for judgment on 28 August 2014, at the Brikama Magistrates’ court before Magistrate Dayoh.
The accused are Lamin B. Jarju, Saikou Ceesay, Saikou Sulayman Drammeh, Burama Badjie, Ebrima Gassama, Modou Lamin Conteh, Alhajie Manneh, Sulayman Colley, Kebba Njie, Buba Gaye, Ebrima Bah, Sarjo Sohna, Modou Lamin Jallow and Modou Demba.
The particulars of offence on count one stated that Lamin B. Jarju and 13 others on 20 February 2013, at Makumbaya village, Kombo North, conspired and set fire on 275 cashew trees valued at D75,000 being the property of one Francis Mendy, thereby committed an offence.
Count two stated that the accused persons on 20 February 2013, at Makumbaya village, Kombo North, jointly and intentionally damaged 275 cashew trees valued at D75,000, being the property of Francis Mendy, without lawful permission.
Count three stated that the accused persons on 20 February 2013, at Makumbaya village, Kombo North, jointly entered the cashew farm of Francis Mendy with intent to intimidate, insult or annoy the said Francis Mendy, thereby committed an offence.
Count four stated that the accused persons on 20 February 2013, at Makumbaya village, Kombo North, jointly conspired to commit felony.
At the closure of the prosecution case, the defence counsel filed a no-case-to-answer on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to make a prima facie case against the accused persons, during the testimonies of the various prosecution witnesses.
The trial magistrate, Dayoh M. Small-Dago, however ruled that for the matter to be clear to the court, the accused persons must enter into their defence to shed light on what had happened.
The defence counsel, BS Touray, appealed against the court’s ruling on the no-case-to-answer submission, saying the learned magistrate erred in law when he ordered the appellants to open their defence in violation of section 166 of the Criminal Code Procedure, when there was no prima facie case made against the accused persons.
However the appeal was also dismissed and the accused person’s were ordered to enter into their defence, which they did.
The case was then set for judgment on 28 August 2014.