Magistrate Muhammeh Krubally of the Bundung Magistrates’ Court last week acquitted and discharged one Muhammed Touray after he realised that the police prosecution had charged him under a wrong section.
Prosecutors charged Touray with assault under Section 288 of the Criminal Code but Magistrate Krubally said the Section that he is charged under was obtaining money by false pretence.
Touray is said to have assaulted one Babucarr Bah with a screw driver on 19thDecember 2015 in Bundung Borehole.
The Presiding Magistrate said after going through the evidence of both prosecution and the accused person, he formulated only one issue for determination in order to reach a good conclusion in the case and that is; whether the accused person was guilty of the offence of actual bodily harm as per Section 288 of the Criminal Code.
He said answers to that could be found in the evidence of the prosecution and the accused person’s defence.
The magistrate maintained that the court went through Section 288 of the Criminal Code but could not find any point that qualifies as assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He said what that Section provides is obtaining money by false pretence although it has been established by the evidence of the prosecution witnesses that the accused did stab Baboucarr Bah.
Magistrate Krubally pointed out that from December 18, 2015 up to the end of the trial, prosecution has been carrying the case file with it, saying if the prosecution had been reading it thoroughly on daily basis, it would have spotted the fault and corrected it.
He indicated that one of the duties of the prosecution is to go through case files in order to be au fait (informed of the most recent facts or information about something) with the fact and law and possibly do the corrections therein.
Magistrate Krubally observed that there was a conflict between the law and facts in Touray’s charge, saying, “When that happens, the one I am bound to follow is the law and not the facts because this court is a court of law,” he said.
He said in light of that, it would be unsafe, unwise, and unlawful to convict Touray. He said the court at that juncture had no option but to acquit Touray.
The magistrate said the prosecution has the right to appeal against his judgement.
by Modou Kanteh