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City of Banjul
Saturday, June 19, 2021

Ex-soldier convicted of impersonation, kidnapping

By Amadou Jadama

Principal Magistrate Muhammed Krubally of Brusubi court yesterday convicted and sentenced one Buba Sanneh, a former military officer on three counts; impersonating a public officer, kidnapping one Alieu Kah, a Senegalese, with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault causing actual bodily harm.

The convict was fined D10,000 in default to serve one year in prison on count one. On the second count, he was fined D5,000 in default to serve six months in prison, while the third count he was fined him D10,000 in default to serve one year in prison.

The accused will also face another punishment attached to the first two counts. One, he is ordered to pay a compensation of D25,000 to the victim Alieu Kah in default to serve one year in prison: two, on count three he was also ordered to pay a compensation of D50,000 in default to serve another one year in prison.

The presiding magistrate Krubally said: “At the end of the prosecution’s case, having taken in to consideration the testimonies of all its four witnesses, orally, cross-examinations as well as the documentary evidence including the lone testimony of the accused  in his defence and cross-examination, I am indeed imbued to note that, the cardinal principle of criminal law restate that, in all criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecution who must prove its cases or case beyond all reasonable doubt.

In other words, the prosecution must prove its case against the accused in all circumstances. Otherwise, as Constitutionally guaranteed, in Section 24 of the 1997, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Again, it is an established principle of administration of law and justice that, when there exists a doubt in a criminal case, same should be resolved in favour of the accused. Since these are the standards set herein, I am able to draw three issues in seriatim from all the three counts preferred against the accused hereunder. In light of the foregoing, I hold that, indeed the accused herein Buba Sanneh falsely represented or presented himself as military officer, and went ahead to effect arrest on the complainant, herein Alieu Kah, when he should not have done so. In view of the foregoing, I hold that the prosecution has discharged the legal and evidential burden on it and proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt as required by criminal and evidence law.”

Before the sentence was passed, the convict Buba Sanneh, begged the court to temper justice with mercy, pleading that he is married with four children. “Since I got involved in this problem, it inflicted great difficulties on me and my family. When my mom heard this, she collapsed and still could not recover. I lost my job eight months ago. I am still unemployed,” he pleaded.

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