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City of Banjul
Monday, January 25, 2021

Man fights to overturn life imprisonment at supreme court

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By Bruce Asemota

The Solicitor General and legal secretary, Cherno Marenah has urged the Supreme Court of the Gambia to affirm the decisions of both the Court of Appeal and the High Court in the case of Lamin Jah.

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Jah was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for rape and robbery by the High Court in 2011, and his appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal which affirmed the sentence in 2014.

Dissatisfied with the decisions, the appellant filed an appeal at the country’s apex court and the matter came yesterday with both his counsel Rachel Y. Mendy and the State, represented by the Solicitor General and Legal Secretary, Cherno Marenah advancing their arguments before the court.

The SG Marenah argued that the appellant’s appeal has no legs to stand on as he has not shown any reason why the Supreme Court should interfere with the decisions of the High Court and the Gambia Court of Appeal.

He urged the Supreme Court to take judicial notice of rampant cases of rape and robbery in the society, adding that the medical certificates tendered at the lower court corroborated evidence of rape and the recovery of stolen items from the appellant indicative of his culpability.

However the appellant’s lawyer Rachel Y. Mendy, submitted that the medical reports were contradictory adding that the sperm alleged to have been found in the victim’s sexual organ could not have been that of the appellant.

She further submitted that they are not denying that the appellant stole certain items but did not amount to robbery.

She therefore urged the Supreme Court to substitute the offence of robbery with a lesser offence of stealing, but to acquit and discharge the appellant on the offence of rape.

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