“Our criminal justice system is accusatorial and not inquisitorial and it follows therefore that those saddled with the responsibility of accusing others of a crime must leave the evidence bare for all to see. The law is trite that suspicion no matter how strong had never gone in for evidence.”
She made this comment while delivering a judgement in the case of Modou Lamin Ceesay and Amadou Sillah, accused of stealing from a dwelling house.
They were accusing of stealing a HP laptop valued at D20,000 one Blackberry single sim mobile phone value at D5,000, and one Samsung dual sim phone valued at D800 which belongs to Modou Lamin Touray of Bundung. Both men had denied the charge.
She said the accused persons were arraigned on 12 June 2014 and they pleaded not guilty to the charged and as such, “it was therefore the duty of the prosecution to prove the case against the accused persons beyond all reasonable doubt”.
She said: “I am with the view that the only issue for determination in this trial stands out to be that there is no direct evidence that the accused persons committed the alleged offence. The prosecution’s case is solely based on circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence is as good as direct evidence in establishing the guilt of an accused but for circumstantial evidence to achieve that feat, it must be cogent and compelling as to convince the count that no rational hypothesis other than the commission of the offence charged can the facts be accounted for,” she said.
She noted that those saddled with the responsibility of accusing others of crime must leave the evidence bare for all to see. The trial magistrate said the law is trite that suspicion no matter how strong had never gone in for evidence. “Based on the foregoing, I find as a fact and hold same that the prosecution did not discharge the legal burden required by law in proving the guilt of the accused persons as charged. The accused persons are hereby acquitted and discharged,” the magistrate announced.]]>