13 November 2012

Gambia: Gamcotrap Officials Acquitted, Discharged

Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe of the Banjul Magistrates' Court on Monday acquitted and discharged Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho, the executive director and the programme coordinator of Gamcotrap respectively, based on the prosecution's failure to prove a case against them.

The magistrate made this decision in a judgement he delivered on Monday in which he evaluated the evidence (both oral and documentary) of the prosecution and the defence, and finally came to a conclusion that the prosecution, led by Supt. Joof, failed woefully to prove a case against the accused persons.

The discharged persons were standing trial on two counts of theft and fraud in which the prosecution alleged that they fraudulently stole the sum of 30, 000 Euros from Yolocamba Solidarida, a Spanish organisation. They all pleaded not guilty to the charges and the prosecution called 8 prosecution witnesses including the executive director of Yolocamba.

On the other hand, the defence, led by Lawyer Amie Bensouda, called 6 defence witnesses including the discharged persons. After the presentation of evidence by both sides, they all filed their respective addresses in which they formulated issues for determination.

The presiding magistrate in his judgement adopted that of the defence as that is;

1) Whether there is prove beyond reasonable doubt of the existence of the agreement between the two organisations to carry out micro credit.

2) Assuming that there was an agreement, does failure to do so give right to criminal liability on the particular organisation.

3) Has any taken of the accused persons being proved?

4) Has any conversion of the money by the accused persons being proved?

5) Has any fraudulent intent been proved?

He stated in the judgement and resolved all these five issues in favour of the accused persons and further said that the oversight of the prosecution not calling Mrs. Suzi, who was a material witness in the case, has proved fatal to the prosecution's case.

Finally, he revealed that in the wake of this above determinations, the court holds that the prosecution has failed woefully to prove the case against the two accused persons, and they were all acquitted and discharged accordingly.

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