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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Court to decide fate of DNA results today in Bob Keita trial

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By Binta A Bah

Lawyer for Bob Keita yesterday told the trial judge that the DNA result which was expected to be revealed in court is not admissible according to the laws of The Gambia.

Lead defence counsel Lamin Camara, in his argument, said trial by ambush is not acceptable in this jurisdiction of the high court and emphasised that the criminal code requires the prosecution to serve the defense with every document they intend to rely on.

His reaction came after principal state counsel Patrick Gomez applied for the DNA result to be admitted through its tenth witness, Superintendent Kofi Abban, a forensic expert who conducted the DNA in Ghana.

However, the judge, Momodou S Jallow replied: “If I listen to him out, I will rule him out.” Bob’s lawyer insisted that the judge put that in his records but the judge replied: “It is not necessary to have that on the record. I have the law on my fingertips. There is no court within the ECOWAS region that will not admit this document.”

At this point, the state counsel intervened and told the judge that it’s the right of Bob’s lawyers to contest any evidence that is intended to be tendered by the prosecution. “When the defense makes an objection, it would be much better for my lord to hear his arguments before he makes any ruling,” state counsel Patrick told the judge who replied that he is certain that he had not erred in this trial.

Meanwhile, the judge is expected to rule on the admissibility of the DNA result today after lawyer Camara finishes his argument as to why the document should not be allowed.

In testifying earlier Superintendent Kofi Abban, a forensic expert who conducted the DNA in Ghana, explained to the court how he received the DNA samples sent from The Gambia.

He told the court that a forensic laboratory in Ghana was prepared after they received communication from the Inspector General of Police of The Gambia and upon receiving the DNA samples from ASP Jatta, PW9, they were kept in a secure storage pending further analysis.

He added that the analysis was done and the report was sealed in a brown envelope and addressed to the IGP of The Gambia.

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