By Amadou Jadama
A dramatic push-and-pull between police and a 40-year-old man discharged from a rape case at the Brikama Magistrate court, thrilled onlookers at Brikama yesterday.
The man, who was accused of raping his own daughter, was arraigned before Magistrate Muhammed Krubally since May 29 but the case could not proceed for want of diligent prosecution.
This followed repeated absence of a prosecution witness who is said to be sick but who is vital to the case.
At the last adjourned date, police prosecutor 4906 Bangura had told the court that their star witness was sick and admitted at Brikama Hospital, and applied for adjournment.
It was granted but Magistrate Krubally had warned them that if they failed to bring their witness by the next adjournment date, which was yesterday, he would strike out the matter for want of diligent prosecution.
So when the matter was called yesterday and police prosecutor 4906 Bangura could not produce the witness, the magistrate discharged the accused.
“I did not have the number of our witness, and I did not know her in person, and we cannot start this matter with other witnesses as we want to do everything in the right way.
So we pray to this honourable court to grant us for the final time,” police prosecutor Bangura begged the court.
But in deciding the matter, Magistrate Krubally said he considered that the accused is arraigned before him, since Wednesday 29 May 2019, and for almost two months the prosecution did not bring even a single witness to prove their case against the accused.
“And still now the prosecution is applying for an adjournment at the disadvantage of the accused person who is languishing in Mile 2.
Considering that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the court, I have no option but to discharge the accused until the prosecution is ready to proceed with their case,” he said.
He warned the prosecution not to flout the order of the court.
Immediately after the accused was discharged by the court, 4906 Bangura asked him to board a prison car to go to the station, but the accused refused.
“Over my dead body.
I will not enter the car because I was discharged by the court’,” the accused told the police man.
A push-and-pull ensued between the prosecutor and the accused who immediately took off towards the Brikama Market where he disappeared.