State files motion for DNA test in Bob Keita’s case

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By Omar Bah

State prosecutors in the rape trial of famous youth activist, Bob Keita have filed a motion for the high court to grant an order for a DNA test between the accused person and the child of the girl he is accused to have raped.

Mr Keita faces a single charge of rape which he denied.

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In the motion filed by the state seen by The Standard, the prosecution appealed for the court to make an order directing the accused person to undergo DNA paternal examination to determine the paternal relation between the accused and the prosecutrix’s child.

The prosecution also wants the court to direct the registrar or other officer of the court to facilitate through medical doctors to collect blood samples from the accused and prosecutrix’s child and transmit the same to a medical laboratory for the purpose of DNA paternal examination.

The state wants the court to further order the registrar or the appointed officer to collect or receive the DNA paternal examination results from the medical laboratory and transmit the same to the court.

Affidavit

In the state affidavit in support of motion, the prosecution  argued that the accused person is the biological father of the child who is two years old now and since the accused refuses to claim the responsibility of the pregnancy which is the subject matter of the substantive criminal case, it would be appropriate for the child and the accused to undergo a DNA paternal examination to determine their paternal relationship. The prosecution team further argued that without DNA paternal examination to establish the paternal relationship between the child and the accused, the child will be fatherless in society. 

Prosecution letters to defence

In a letter dated 29 April 2021 addressed to Lamin S Camara of Dandimayo Chambers seen by The Standard, state prosecutors argued that the conduct of DNA will be valuable evidence in the determination of the matter as the results thereof will most certainly be either inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.

“We also believe that your client is the biological father of the child, the victim’s child (who currently does not have a surname), hence the need to conduct a DNA test as we are both committed to ensuring that justice is served at the end of the trial. We believe it is in the interest of both parties if clarity is brought forward regarding the paternity of the child, aside from the ongoing criminal case, it is also very important and a fundamental human right for the child to have a surname and to know his biological father,” the prosecutors said.  The state has vowed to provide all expenses required for the DNA.

Defence opposes DNA

Meanwhile, in their affidavit in opposition to the prosecution’s motion, the Defence argued that it is opposed to the state motion for DNA because paternity is “not the subject matter of the substantive trial before the court”.

The defence said the prosecution’s application is denied because it is meant to embarrass the accused and further delay the substantive hearing of the matter and the application is made in utmost bad faith and it will not be in the interest of justice if it is granted.

“Establishing paternity has no bearing with the charge against the accused person, that the application is not timely as it is not made out of good faith because the request to DNA at this stage of hearing is not only meant to further delay the hearing while the accused is still in custody,” the defence argued.

According to the defense, if the application for DNA is granted, it will not be in the interest of justice as the accused is in custody on charges he completely denied.

“The accused person stands trial on charges of rape which he completely denies and allowing this application will further waste his time,” the defence said.