By: Fabakary B. Ceesay
Magistrate Peter Adoh Che of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court has endorse the ‘no case’ submission by lawyers of Chief Superintendent Muhammed Kanteh and acquitted and discharged the accused person as demanded by the team of lawyers.
The lawyers Lamin S. Camara, Lamin L. Darboe and Yankuba Darboe on Friday 12th September filed a ‘no case to answer submission on behalf of their client.
From today Tuesday 22nd September 2020, interdicted Chief Superintendent Muhammed Kanteh is a free man from the offence of neglect of official duty.
In summing up the evidences and exhibits before the Court, Magistrate Che summarises the evidence of the six prosecution witnesses whether the prosecution have made a ‘prima facie’ case against the accused person to warrant the Court to order him to open a defence.
Magistrate Che indicated that in a criminal prosecution, the standard practice is to prove beyond reason doubt. He said the burden of such prove lies on the shoulders of the prosecution and not the accused person.
His Worship Che pointed out that ‘he who came with equity must come with clean hands’ and that prosecution has a burden to prove their allegation against the accused.
He stated that the Court has a duty to cross check if the charges against the accused can stand and indeed if the accused has neglected his duty. The Court he said has to know if the accused was given an assignment which he fail to do and whether the accused was granted permission by first prosecution witness Assistant Commissioner Buba Jassey as the immediate boss of the accused.
He said the prosecution was denying the fact that Buba Jassey gave permission to Kanteh, then he asked, “What is the used of Buba Jassey given him the vehicle keys”.
The Court ruled that the prosecution did not prove the main ingredients of the charge against the accused person. This Court, he said ‘is not a playing ground, instead a place of justice’.
Magistrate Che described the prosecution’s case as poorly investigated that it is of no use and their evidence was poorly presented that the Court cannot rely on it. He added that the prosecution did not succeed in proving the charge against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt and as such the Court cannot ask him to open a defence.
“The prosecution has failed their duty and their star witness was unreliable and worthless and I therefore acquitted and discharged the accused person”, the Court ruled.
Chief Superintendent Muhammed Kanteh, one time Director of Intelligence at State House under President Adama Barrow and later moved to Brikama as Operations Commander of the Gambia Police Force for West Coast Region.
He was arrested on 26th January 2020 on the day of the ‘3 years jotna’ political protest for visiting his injured brothers at the hospital. Since his arrest and subsequent trail, Kanteh was interdicted and been paid on half salary.
He was detained for days and charged with neglect of official duty.