24 C
City of Banjul
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Lawyer urged magistrate to free journalists

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“There is so much doubt and horror in the prosecution evidence that no one can convict these two men.  The prosecution fails to establish a prima facie case against the accused persons.The evidence is unreliable, discredited and unworthy and I therefore urge the court to acquit and discharge the accused persons,” Lawyer Lamin Camara said during a submission of ‘no-case-to-answer’ before Magistrate Muhammed Krubally.

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“I submit on the contrary that this ‘no-case-to-answer’ should be upheld because regardless of the witnesses called by the prosecution – eight in total – they woefully failed to provide reliable evidence worthy for the court to require the accused persons enter their defence. These witnesses have been discredited under cross-examination that no reasonable tribunal should believe in their evidence,” lawyer Camara submitted.

Mr Marenah, a freelance journalist and Mr Sheriff, editor of The Voice newspaper are on trial at the Banjul Magistrates Court on two counts of conspiracy to commit misdemeanor and publication of false news.

They are accused of conspiring and publishing on the newspaper that 19 Green Youths joined the opposition UDP on 6 December 2013, knowing that the said publication was likely to cause fear to the public or disturb the public peace. They pleaded not guilty. 

On the allegation of conspiracy to commit misdemeanor, Lawyer Camara said, “For the offence of conspiracy to be sustainable against the accused persons, the prosecution must have to prove the meeting of minds of the accused persons for illegal enterprise or prove the illegal enterprise by illegal means. For the second offence, the prosecution must prove that what is published is indeed false and the accused persons knew that it is and count two is almost impossible because there is no way the prosecution can know what Sainey Marenah and Musa Sheriff were thinking.”

Camara summarised the witnesses’ evidence saying that none of the evidences linked the two journalists to the allegations preferred against them. “The question that is begging to be answered by the prosecution is: Did 19 Green Youths join the UDP from APRC in November 30, 2013 in Tanji?  Your worship that has not been answered,” he said, urging the court to discharge and acquit the two journalists.

ASP Musa Camara who was expected to reply to the defense submission said he needed more time to prepare himself. However, Magistrate Krubally told him that he should have been ready to be able to reply to the defence submission. “You should have prepared yourself since you know today is the submission of ‘no-case-to-answer’,” Magistrate Krubally upbraided before adjourning the case to September 9.

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