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City of Banjul
Friday, October 7, 2022

State claims defence refused DNA request since April last year

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By Binta A Bah

State Counsel Patrick Gomez has told a high court judge that Bob Keita’s lawyer had refused their request to conduct a DNA examination on his client following a request.

Addressing the court on why it should not set aside the order for Keita’s blood to be extracted for DNA examination to determine the paternity of the baby of the victim he is alleged to have raped, Counsel Gomez said his office sent two letters in April and June last year for his lawyer to accept the request for a DNA but none of the letters was ever responded to.

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“Going by the argument of the defense, we are wasting the court’s time but what they did not tell the court is how they refused to accept a request from the state. Had the defense accepted our request to conduct DNA at that earlier opportunity, the case would have been over now,” he said, arguing that his application in court for DNA in December last year was also opposed by Keita’s lawyer on the grounds that it could violate the privacy of the accused person.

Counsel Gomez said the order made by the court was done without error or fraud and the court has all the jurisdiction to issue such orders.

When Gomez argued that nothing stops the defence from conducting their own DNA, Keita’s lawyer objected but was overruled by the judge, Justice Momodou Jallow.

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“The application before this court is abuse of process, clearly calculated not to allow this proceeding to continue, therefore wasting the court’s time,” Gomez said.

Addressing the court earlier, Keita’s lawyer LS Camara told the court that it will be in the interest of justice to set aside the court order for his client to submit to blood samples. “You don’t seek court order and go to sleep while the accused person languish in prison. Our application has merits and is not in any way wasting the court’s time but on the contrary is meant to expedite this matter,” Lawyer Camara argued, saying what is meant to delay the court’s time is the state’s affidavit in opposition.

Meanwhile, the judge will deliver a ruling on whether to set aside its order for DNA on Wednesday.

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