By Bruce Asemota
Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the Banjul High Court last week acquitted and discharged one Alagie Ceesay of rape after the prosecution failed to prove their case against him.
Delivering judgment, Justice Jaiteh said Alagie Ceesay was alleged to have had unlawful carnal knowledge of a seven-year-old girl in Brikama on 10 June last year.
He said the prosecution called nine witnesses to try to prove its case against the accused.
The judge explained what constitutes a sexual act and pointed out that in order to prove rape, the prosecution do not have to establish how deeply a victim was penetrated as even to the slightest degree is sufficient to complete this crime.
Justice Jaiteh stated that one of the witness gave a conflicting testimony claiming at one time that he saw the accused on top of the victim but later under cross examination, the same witness said he did not see the accused on top of the victim.
Justice Jaiteh further stated that even more importantly, the star witness, the supposed victim herself, in her testimony told the court that the accused did not have sexual intercourse with her.
The judge further went to declare that the entire testimony of the witnesses were based on speculation and hearsay which is not admissible in law.
He said the testimonies of the victim and the witness who testified that he saw the accused on top of the victim did not prove or establish that there was any form of sexual act and the evidence of the witness was discredited during cross examination when he admitted and maintained that he did not see the accused on top of the victim.
Justice Jaiteh asserted that the failure of a medical doctor to be cross examined in the trial is a fatal blow to the prosecution’s case.
The judge therefore disclosed that from the totality of the evidence adduced in the trial, the prosecution did not prove the charge of rape against the accused person and accordingly acquitted and discharged him.