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City of Banjul
Monday, September 20, 2021

NIA 9 trial: Judge bars witness from using laptop

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By Mafugi Ceesay

Trial judge Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara on Monday rejected prosecution witness 25, Superintendent Thomas RJ Gomez, from using his laptop to take the court through the content of Exhibit L.
The judge took this stance saying that evidence that is not before the court cannot be used, because neither the defense nor the court can establish the content of the electronic version of exhibit L.
This followed state counsel Yasin Secka’s argument that the witness has earlier told the court he wanted to play exhibit L on his laptop before the court for easier understanding.
She further argued that Exhibit L is determined by its content and not physically and it is recognised by law that one document can be in different ways, which is also inclusive of electronic version.

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Lawyer Secka further argued that Exhibit L has been created in both electronic and printed copies which have been tendered in the court, noting that both are primary evidence. She said the witness is not seeking to constitute new evidence by referring to his laptop but rather to refer to another primary content of the exhibit. She urged the court to overrule the submission of the defense.
Meanwhile defence Lawyer Chris Mene maintained that the citing of the state is misconceived as the issue before the court is different, adding that the issue is whether the witness can be allowed to go into the content of the electronic evidence.
The trial continues today.

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