Sunday, July 21, 2024

Court Stands Down as DPP Seeks to Serve Defence with Cautionary Statements

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By Mama A. Touray

Justice Ebrima Jaiteh has called for a two-hour recess in the corruption trial of three Ministry of Health officials before him, instructing the Director of Public Prosecutions, AM Yusuf, to provide the defence with the cautionary statements of the accused.

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This request was made after the Director of Public Prosecutions Yusuf applied for the court to admit the documents into evidence, leading to an objection from counsel F Jallow, the lawyer for the accused.

Counsel F Jallow argued that they had not been served with the statements and that the two they were served with did not have the signatures of the independent witness.

Further, it was argued that the statements were not obtained voluntarily, and in the interest of justice, the defence wanted the DPP to provide them with all the copies to review.

In response, DP Yusuf stated that he had served the defence with all the cautionary statements, including the witness statements. He argued that even if the defence were not served the documents, this was not a ground for objection in admitting these documents as evidence.

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Counsel F Jallow further argued that they needed all the copies of the documents to proceed with the matter because they did not know the content of the documents to be tendered.

Justice Jaiteh opined that it would be fair for the defence to have access to the documents, go through them, and have a conference with the accused even if the court was not served with copies of some of the documents.

The case was scheduled to continue at 3 pm for the continuation of the hearing.

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