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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Prosecutor accused lawyer of hate speech in Lie Saine’s trial

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By Tabora Bojang

Police prosecutor Superintendent Mballow yesterday accused defense lawyer Moses Richards of ‘hate speech’ during his continuation of cross-examination with the first prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of former APRC parliamentarian Abdoulie Saine.
Richards accused the witness Abdoulie Sanneh, commissioner for Interpol and criminal intelligence of being evasive in his testimony since the matter was not being investigated and hastily arraigned in court without following the fundamental aspects of criminal justice system.

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He said the only reason the commissioner hastily acted on the case was that ‘Lie Saine is a member of the APRC that was in power prior to now and because today we generally have a Mandinka government and Lie Saine was from a party that was predominantly dominated by Jola.”
Prosecutor Mballow, who was quick to respond to the defense, said the remark is not fitting under the cross-examination.

“We are submitting that the question is irrelevant as far as this trial is concerned. This is a hate speech especially when coming from the bar. Whoever utters such statements in the western world will be charged with hate speech and this court should not entertain such.”
In response, lawyer Moses who was the first Gambian high court judge to preside over cases at special criminal division at high court, said the prosecutor is misguided on what hate speech is, adding that his objection is misconceived and lacks merit.

“This is a very relevant question and it is within the parameters of what the witness said. Procedures to follow in investigating a criminal case are very crucial that is why we have judges to help the police on investigations because they (police) always get it wrong,” Richards said.

After hearing both submissions magistrate Tracey Williams subsequently adjourned the case for a ruling and continuation of cross-examinations on Thursday January 24 at 3 pm.
Abdoulie Saine, a former APRC lawmaker is standing trial against one count of seditious intention, a charge he has since denied.

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