The closure of the prosecution’s case followed their failure to show up in court and the trial Judge, Justice B.A. Bakre decided to close the prosecution case.
The accused persons were involved in a peaceful protest held on the 26th January 2020 demanding President Adama Barrow to step down in honour of his promise to serve for 3 years.
However, the protest later turned violent and as a consequence, the accused persons were arrested.
They are facing charges of rioting, unlawful assembly and rioting after proclamation contrary to the laws of the country.
The accused persons are;Fanta Mballow, Ebrima KitimJarju, Sheriffo Janko, HagiSuwaneh, Abdou Njie (Chairman 3 Years Jotna), Katim Touray, Yankuba (alias Yanks) Darboe, Muctar Ceesay and Bakary Camara.
Lawyer Lamin S. Camara is for the accused persons.
The Attorney General’s Office wrote to the court informing them of their absence and their reason for the absence. The writer of the letter wrote to the court indicating that all the State Counsels are involved in other court cases and thus, they are constrained with personnel to appear in the case. The writer requested for an adjournment.
The prosecution has called two witnesses and one has completed his testimony while the other was expected to continue with his testimony.
The trial judge said the prosecution won’t be allowed to delay the case any further and he invited the defence to make comments on the prosecution’s letter.
Lawyer Lamin Camara said the prosecution has failed to demonstrate interest in the case and he thus urged the court to close the prosecution’s case.
The Judge closed the prosecution’s case and called upon the defence to open their case.
Lawyer Camara made a ‘no case to answer’ submission,adding the prosecution had failed to make a ‘prima facie’ case against the accused persons as he relied on section 144 of the Evidence Act.
He argued that the prosecution did not establish any ‘prima facie’ case against the accused persons on all the three counts, saying the permit in question had not been tendered before the court.
The senior Lawyer maintained that the Inspector General of Police issued the accused persons a permit to embark on the protest.
Camara relied on 208 of the Criminal Procedure Code in making his application.
“A prima facie case has not been established by the prosecution and I enjoin the court to acquit and discharge the accused persons,” Camara said.
The case was adjourned to the 13th January 2021 at 9:30 am for a possible reply by the prosecution.