By Rohey Jadama
Justice Emmanuel Amadi of the Banjul High Court yesterday 9 July admitted in evidence a letter written by Mr. Momodou Sabally erstwhile Minister for Presidential Affairs and Secretary General and head of civil service in the trial involving the state against him.
In his ruling the presiding judge said on the 6th July the DPP showed a document to the accused person and he said he recognised it and that he was the author of the said document.
Justice Amadi added that the defence counsel objected to its admissibility, arguing that was the first time he was seeing the said document. That the said document is irrelevant to the charges before the court and that this document came into existence after the case was filed in the court.
He said counsel further told the court that the document has no nexus as it has more prejudicial than probating and evidential value and that when such happens it has to be rejected.
He said he is not served with any notice that they intend to tender it and they did not comply with the criminal procedure code (CPC). Counsel Gaye further argued that the law on evidence discourages trial by ambush and that they are not to be taken by surprise. He finally urged the court to reject the said document and mark it as such.
He said the DPP replied that the objection and submission of the defence counsel has no place in the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and the Evidence Act. He said the defence is speculative and has not supported his arguments with any provision of the law.
“I have listen to both sides, the accused said he wrote the said document and the issue of relevance can come after going through it. I will admit it and urge both counsels to address me on it”, ruled Justice Amadi.
The said document was admitted and marked as exhibit A15.
The DPP instructed the accused “Have a look at exhibit A15, read the heading and the last sentence of it?”
Counsel Gaye raised an objection, he added that the court said that both counsels should address the court on it.
The trial judge disallowed the said question adding that he does not want the content of the said document to be known to the public and that it is a matter for address.
Lawyer Gaye intimated to the court the closure of their case.
At this stage both the DPP and the defence were given 7 days to file their addresses.
The case was adjourned till 27th August 2015 at 9:30 for reply on points of law.