By Talibeh Hydara
Results of the DNA examination in the Bob Keita rape trial are expected by next week, The Standard has been reliably informed.
The samples have been flown to Ghana early yesterday morning.
The state had applied for the high court to grant an order for DNA examination to take place in December last year which the defence opposed.
However, on 7th July 2022, the court ruled in favour of the prosecution for DNA test to be conducted.
But the defence declined to take part in the sample collection, arguing that it had already filed an appeal against the high court’s ruling at The Gambia Court of Appeal and that it would not undermine that process. That appeal is still pending.
Bob Keita subsequently refused to enter the hospital to witness the sample collection from Baby Muhammed, having been taken there from Mile 2. The sample collection still went ahead.
On 6th September 2022, the prosecution wrote to the defence inviting them to witness the DNA sample collection and transportation from the hospital to the airport.
However, in a letter seen by The Standard, the defence replied: “We have made our position on this matter categorically clear to you in a series of correspondences and that position has not and will not change unless and until our application for stay of execution of the ruling of the 7th of July 2022, that is sort [sic] to be executed is heard and determined by The Gambia Court of Appeal.
“Your ministry has already joined issues with the defence by filing an affidavit in opposition to the motion for stay of execution of the ruling of the 7th of July 2022.
Having indicated your position on the motion for stay of execution which is still pending at The Gambia Court of Appeal, it is therefore prudent and lawful to abate all execution processes pending the hearing and determination of the said motion.
“If, on the other hand, you are determined to undermine a legitimate court process, you are at liberty to do so but certainly not with the participation of the accused person and the defence.
“We will neither be present at the collection of the DNA samples, nor at the transportation of the said samples to the airport to give credence to the transparency issue you have been consistently emphasising as if the transparency process begins and ends with the collection and transportation of the DNA samples to the airport.”
Yesterday, those samples from the baby, Bob, the alleged victim and her former boyfriend, Pa Modou Johm, have been flown to Ghana for DNA examination.
Senior State Counsel Alasan Jobe told The Standard that blood samples were taken from Bob and Pa Modou, blood samples and cheek swabs taken from the alleged victim while blood samples, toe nail and molar were taken from Baby Muhammed.
“One of the reasons we took these samples from Baby Muhammed is to allay fears that we might have taken blood samples from one of Bob’s kids. That’s why we took his tooth and toenail. That way, no one will say that we took those from his kids. The lab also recommended these samples,” Counsel Jobe said.
He added that the police forensic officer who took the samples to Ghana for DNA examination, would wait for the results.
“We wrote to the defence and the accused to request for their presence at the collection but they both refused to come. This was done yesterday [Tuesday] at 10pm, so that the forensic officer goes straight from the hospital to the airport to catch his flight which was due to depart at 6:50am,” he told The Standard.
The doctor or whoever conducted the DNA examination in Ghana is expected to testify as an expert witness when the trial resumes on 5th October 2022.
Meanwhile legal commentators said the DNA test results will not be revealed to the public until the court resumes next month.