The three men were arraigned last December on two counts of conspiracy to defraud and purchase forged bank notes. They were accused of giving one Alieu Jallow, a forex bureau owner forged notes amounting to $5,000 in exchange for D200,000. They were also accused of being found in possession of US$10,500 forged notes. They denied the allegations.
In his judgment, Magistrate Lamin Mbaye said the prosecution proved its case against Mr Saine and Mr Touray but there was no evidence linking Mr Joof to the charges. “I found from the entire evidence that there is no sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the third accused is a partner in the fraudulent activities of his co-accused. I found the third accused not guilty on all the counts,” he said.
However, the magistrate ordered that the US$2,600 found with Mr Touray when he was arrested to be returned to him without delay.
Before sentencing them, Mr Saine urged the court to forgive him. “I was found with the fake cash. Had I known it was fake money, I would not have kept it in my custody. I was never involved in any criminal activities. I’m young and I have lot of responsibilities. Since the case started, I have no one to take up those responsibilities. I beg the court to have mercy and forgive me.”
Mr Touray in his mitigation said: “This was an accident. I met these people and I have proved to the court I do not come from Guinea. I have my wife and son in Dakar. I beg the court not to send me to jail. I don’t know anything about this. I was not caught with anything in my custody.”
The magistrate however sentenced them and ordered that all the monies confiscated by the police during the arrest of the convicts be forfeited to the state.
After sentencing them, the prosecutor, Sub-Inspector Badjie applied that the convicts compensate the owner of the bureau D200,000 but this was not granted by the magistrate.]]>