January 19, 2016 By Regina Pratt
A defence counsel in the bigamy trial of opposition politician Dr. Alie Kabba yesterday called on the presiding magistrate to do justice.
“We in the defence are calling on your Lordship that justice must be done,” said Francis Ben Keifala, noting that “this is a court of law and things should be done and not undone.”
He made the call while addressing the court on a case submission because of insufficiency of evidence before the court, insisting that the matter before the magistrate concerns morals, albeit a preliminary investigation.
Lawyer Keifala insisted though that the prosecution has the burden to prove that they have sufficient evidence to prove each element of the offences the accused is being investigated for.
He opined that the prosecution had brought evidence before the court that creates doubt, noting that exhibits M150 to M153 do not state anything about divorce, as confirmed by the third prosecution witness
The defence counsel thus submitted that the prosecution should adduce sufficient evidence to prove their case, disclosing that the defence team has documents of the transcribed oral dissolution of the marriage, which is not part of the prosecution records.
“We humbly plead with your Lordship to discharge Mr. Kabba,” he said and added that the third prosecution witness had testified in court that he had gone ahead to charge the matter to court even before checking the veracity of the evidence.
In response, Assistant Superintendent of Police Tommy Zizer, who is lead prosecutor, said the charges were subject to a preliminary investigation with a primary purpose to ascertain whether there is sufficient evidence, thus agreeing with the defence that the burden is on the prosecution to establish sufficient evidence to warrant the matter to be committed for trial at the High Court.
He said the prosecution had discharged that burden by establishing that an event did occur which caused the Inspector General of Sierra Leone to charge the accused with the offence of bigamy and perjury, and that they had established the elements of the offences.
But the defence counsel retorted that the prosecution had failed to adequately respond to their submission of ‘no case’.
The matter was adjourned until Wednesday, 20 January for ruling.