By Sulayman Bah
A juvenile court in Turin will now be hearing the case of Yusupha Yaffa , a Gambian-born footballer standing trial on allegations of fraud.
Verdict was set to be passed by Italy’s National Federal Court this past Monday but the case will now be heard in camera by a Turin-based juvenile court.
The new twist to the case follows after Massimo Scarabello, who’d been hearing the case since turn of 2016, ruled that the matter be transferred to a juvenile court on grounds of his court’s lack of jurisdiction to hear the trial and giving the Gambian was a minor when the alleged offence was being committed.
Speaking shortly after the federal court’s decision, Mauro Cavalli, attorney to the embattled Serrekunda-born, said: ‘We want to come out on top in this case that has caused my client not to be signed by bigger football clubs’
Yaffa is being trialed for fraud in which he’s reported to have reduced his age by nine years to gain football advantage in order to be signed by big clubs.
The Serrekunda-born was being trialed before Italy’s National Federal Court accused of being 28-years old and not the 19 years he claims.
The footballer is sued by the province of Cuneo, a city in northern Italy, where he’d once lived.
Cuneo prosecutors based their argument on Yaffa’s social media posts where he’s alleged to have submitted different birth dates – accusations the team of prosecutors have so far failed to provide proofs for.
Proceedings, that have inevitably drawn media attention, reached a stage where the trial judge ordered for the Gambian to be subjected to a bone marrow test.
Giving testimony in the case, Giancarlo Di Vella, an associate professor and Turin University’s director of Institute of Legal Medicine who bossed the medical investigation on the player’s bones said, Yusupha’s marrows ranges between 18 and 22 years.
This trajectory to the fraud proceedings was expected to set the path to conclusion of the trial until the prosecution claimed they have laid hands on rafts of documents appearing to prove their case.
MSV Duisburg, German second tier side continues to stick with the footballer through these torrid times and in a letter sent to Foroyaa Sport January this year clarified their player is being tried by Cunco and not AC Milan as being wrongly reported in the international media.
Retired forward Filippo Inzaghi, current manager of third tier Italian side Venezia, was one of blizzard of witnesses summoned to give testimony.
His significance to the trial comes in the wake of his involvement with Milan’s youth setup where he also coached Yaffa.
Yusupha has had turbulence times dogging his career since transferring to Germany in 2015. Late last year, running through to turn of 2016, he was in the spotlight again on allegations of rape.
In Frankfurt, while with Bundesliga side Eintracht he was alleged to have had canal knowledge of a certain Guinean woman at his flat, allegations later found to be untrue.