25 June 2012

Gambia: Death Row Prisoner Awaits Supreme Court's Decision

The Supreme Court of The Gambia, presided over by Chief Justice Emmanuel A. Agim has adjourned the criminal appeal case filed by one Lamin Ceesay to October 2012 for judgement following the adoption of briefs of argument by both the appellant and respondent's counsel.

The appellant was convicted and sentenced to death by the High Court on the 31st October 2006 for the offence of murder. The appellant, dissatisfied with the decision of the said High Court filed an appeal before the court of appeal. At the court of appeal, the appellant's appeal was dismissed. The appellant, also dissatisfied with the verdict of the said court of appeal, filed a criminal notice of appeal.

The appellant's grounds of appeal indicated among other things, that his fundamental right was not protected. That the court of appeal erred in law in upholding the conviction of the trial court by convicting him on the confessional statement which he (the appellant) retracted at trial.

The particulars of the errors stated that there was nothing independent of the confessional statements and that the court of appeal erroneously endorsed the trial court's acceptance of the confession without applying the test in R.V Skys.

The appellant therefore urged the Supreme Court to quash his trial for murder; discharge and acquit him or set aside the sentence passed on him for a lesser punishment, if it cannot be totally quashed; order that the order of the trial court, dated 31t October 2006 at page 34 of the records of proceedings in respect of his mental capacity as exhibited at page 34 of the records of proceedings be implemented.

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