Abubacarr L Sonko, a man who was facing a charge of unlawful assault at the Bundung Magistrate’s Court has been acquitted and discharged by Magistrate Muhammed Krubally for what he called the prosecution’s failure to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt as required.
Sonko was accused of unlawfully assaulting one Momodou Lamin Bah by breaking his leg.
Delivering his judgment, Magistrate Krubally said in every criminal case the principle is that the prosecution must prove every element of the offence charged. He said by virtue of the fact that the prosecution failed to submit enough evidence, the court believes that its truth cannot be relied on.
He said the accused person and his three witnesses have given corroborative evidences but the court found that the evidences of the prosecution contained discrepancies.
Magistrate Krubally said the court also noted the statement of the first prosecution witness who, he said had told the court that while she was at home, one of her sons called Tamsir informed her that the accused person broke the leg of Momodou Lamin Bah (who is also her son).
He further stated that when that witness’s credibility was tested, she admitted that she was told about the accused person’s breaking the complainant’s leg but she was not physically present there.
This, the magistrate opined, means the first prosecution witness was not present at the scene when it occurred. He said the witness could not give a proper account of how the incident occurred; whether it was done by the accused person with malice aforethought.
The magistrate further stated that the prosecution witnesses’ testimonies were not corroborative at all, saying without corroboration in evidences; there would be no proper basis for finding them as credible witnesses in the case.
“The witnesses were only saying what they were told. Although I fully comprehend that they the projected themselves as honest witnesses, when their credibility was tested through the microscope, they appear imminent.”
He said having held a scale between the prosecution and his support witnesses and the consolidated defence of the accused person for six months; he found that the evidence of the prosecution fell far short of what is legally required. He said based on that ground, he could not find the accused guilty of the offence charged.
Based on the evidences before the court, the magistrate said he strongly believes that the prosecution has woefully failed to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt.
“As such, I hereby fine Abubacarr L Sonko not guilty of the offence charged and he is hereby acquitted and discharged.”
by Modou Kanteh