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Sainabou Mbye & 2 Others’ Trial: Justice Jaiteh Closes State’s Case

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Sainabou Mbye & 2 Others’ arrival at the High Court in Banjul

By Landing Ceesay

The Judge presiding in Sainabou Mbye and two others’ manslaughter case, Justice Ebrima Jaiteh, has closed the State’s (Prosecution) case, after listening to the submissions by the State and Defence Counsels.

He said all the adjournment applications by the State must have compelling and verifiable reasons before they would be granted; and ruled that the State ‘failed woefully to provide verifiable and compelling reasons’ as to why the court should grant their adjournment application.

After closing the State’s case, Justice Jaiteh then asked the defence to open their case; and Counsel C. Gaye for the defence told the court that they intend to file a “No case to answer” submission.

Prior to the ruling by the Judge presiding, the State Counsel A.M. Yusuf informed the court that the matter was adjourned for hearing so that they could present another witness, who is a medical doctor from Senegal as their eighth and final Prosecution Witness (PW8); but “unfortunately” they couldn’t secure the attendance of the doctor, saying ‘it is beyond their control’.

“We are apologizing to this Court, the defence team and the accused persons for any inconvenience it might bring to this court. As we mentioned the last time, the medical doctor is a Public Servant who lives outside the jurisdiction of this court. So securing his attendance requires a lot of bureaucracy and protocols. That makes it difficult to secure the attendance of the medical doctor.

“As such, we seek the indulgence of the court and the understanding of the defence to give us one more chance of adjournment in the interest of Justice, taking into account that one of the charges is manslaughter, which entails the fact that a life has been lost in this matter. So, we are seeking an adjournment of this case, so we continue making our efforts to secure his attendance,” Counsel Yusuf told the Court.

In response to the State Counsel’s submission, Counsel C. Gaye, representing the accused persons said they are vehemently opposed to any application for adjournment, arguing that the court has gone backwards to accommodate the State.

Counsel Gaye told the court that the case has been going on smoothly from the onset and today (Thursday) is set aside so that they will have the whole day to hear the Prosecution’s final witness and then close their case.

She argued that Justice Jaiteh has cleared his entire diary so that no other case would proceed except this one, for them to make progress with the insistence of the Judge and the defence.

“I wish to submit that, with all due respect, Counsel Yusuf did not give any compelling reasons they have advanced before the Court, as to why the Court should adjourn the proceeding today. They have not explained to the court which step they have taken to secure their witness. It is not enough for Counsel Yusuf to say ‘for reasons beyond their control’ they could not get the witness.

“I submit that the application is disrespectful to the Court, and no regard is being paid to the plight of the accused persons. Therefore, we urge my lord to refuse the application and force the State to close their case. We will then tell the court what our next step would be,” Counsel Gaye argued.
The case is adjourned to the 17th November 2022 for the adoption of the briefs on the “No case to answer” submission.

The ex-wife of remanded Bob Keita Sainabou Mbye (1st accused), Cherno Mbye (2nd accused), and Kibili Dambelly (3rd accused) are charged with manslaughter, contrary to Section 186 of Criminal Code Cap: 10.01 Vol. III, Laws of The Gambia 2009.

The particulars of the offence stated that Sainabou Mbye, Cherno Mbye, and Kibili Dambelly, on or about 3rd July 2022, at Kanifing and diverse places in The Gambia, by unlawful act, or omission, amounting to culpable negligence, left a two-year-old boy resident of Brusubi inside a car, which caused his death, thereby committed an offence.

Counsels AM Yusuf, M. B Sowe, S.L Jobarteh  representing the State; while C. Gaye, S Twum,  M. Ngum, A Tambadou, and A.R Bah  are representing the 1st, 2nd and 3rd accused persons in the trial.

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