By Bruce Asemota
The Banjul High Court yesterday told Yankuba Touray, former junta member and minister to open his defence.
Trial judge Ebrima Ba Jaiteh dismissed the argument of no-case to answer made by Touray’s lawyer as lacking merit and stated that a prima facie case has been made out against him.
In his ruling, Justice Jaiteh disclosed that the accused person is charged on a single count of murdering Ousman Koro Ceesay in June 1995 at Kololi after beating him with a pestle-like object and other dangerous weapons.
He explained that the prosecution called nine witnesses and tendered exhibits including an autopsy report and at the end of the prosecution’s case, the defence opted and made oral arguments on a submission of no-case to answer.
He said Defence Counsel A Sissoho argued that the prosecution failed to prove the ingredient of the offence charged which is the actus reus of murder that there was no evidence that Ceesay is dead and no weapon, stick or knife was tendered into evidence as an exhibit by the prosecution.
The trial judge disclosed that the defence counsel argued that the actus reus has not been established as required by law, cited statutes and several case laws and urged that the accused be acquitted and discharged on a submission of no-case to answer.
Justice Jaiteh said in response, Principal State Counsel AM Yusuf argued that the prosecution had indeed established a prima facie case against Touray and cited several authorities and urged the court to discountenance the submission of no-case to answer.
The judge said only one issue arose for determination, which was whether the accused person had a case to answer.
He said he believed the evidence adduced by the prosecution was such that it required some explanation from Yankuba Touray of what actually happened at his house in Kololi on the fateful day in question.
Justice Ebrima Ba Jaiteh stated that the prosecution has adduced direct and circumstantial evidence before the court linking Touray to the case and therefore, a prima facie case has been made and the argument on the submission of no-case to answer lacked merit and was dismissed.
He therefore called upon Yankuba Touray to open his defence before adjourning the case to 16th June 2020.