August 2016 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara & Hawa Amara
Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Sulaiman A. Bah has submitted in the High Court that they relied on circumstantial evidence to prove the guilt of Mbaimba Moiforay, Foday Amara Kamara and Avril Oladora Renner, who were accused of murdering David Sydney Burkle aka D.J Clef in May last year.
He told the presiding Judge, Justice Alusine Sesay that in a criminal trial the prosecution can rely on direct, indirect or circumstantial evidence to prove its case and it must be based on facts.
He submitted that circumstantial evidences are relevant facts which work cumulatively in geometrical progression, eliminating further possibilities.
He said all the seventeen witnesses they summoned did not testify seeing any of the accused persons murdered the deceased, hence they decided to rely mostly on circumstantial evidence and the 26 exhibits tendered during a yearlong trial.
“In the instant case, none of my witnesses testify of seeing any or all of the three accused persons either conspiring to murder or murdered the deceased. That by itself does not absolve these accused persons of criminal responsibility. The prosecution my lord relies on circumstantial evidence to prove its case,” he submitted.
He submitted that in all criminal trials, it was the duty of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused persons and that the standard of proof must be beyond all reasonable doubt, adding that any iota of doubt shall be in favour of the accused.
He said there was evidence before the court that the accused persons murdered the deceased, as he was last seen with red underwear at a party organized by the 3rd accused at the premises of the first accused.
He said it was the same underwear that was found with the deceased after he was killed and dumped at the Murray town cemetery.
Dressed in black and white regalia, the DPP urged the 12- man jury to focus on the evidence of Prosecution Witness (PW) 13, Ibrahim Hassan, an Operational Support Division Officer of the Sierra Leone Police, attached at the residence of the first accused.
He noted that PW13 had testified that he did not see the deceased left the compound and that when the corpse was discovered at the Cemetery Road, Murray town, it was partly rapped in a brown car cover, which the witness said was similar to the missing car cover.
DPP submitted that when the OSD took up duty on 23rd May, 2015, he conducted his normal routine check and found out that the yellow rope and the brown & white carpet were all missing.
He submitted that all those items that were discovered with the deceased were similar to those items that were missing at the premise of the first accused after the party.
DPP said the OSD officer had also testified that on the 24th May, 2015 when he went to take up duty, the gate was locked from inside and that he overheard the 2nd accused saying that the 1st accused had wanted to see him at Deep Eye Water.
“This evidence was a calculated plan to remove the corpse from the compound without the knowledge of the OSD officer,” he submitted.
He further submitted that the deceased was last seen in the premises of the first accused, heading towards the generator room and on Monday 25th, 2015 a corpse was seen at Cemetery Road, Murray town, which was discovered to be the deceased.
He informed the court that the testimony of PW1, Santigie Kargbo was corroborated by the evidence of PW10 that the deceased was last seen at the premise of the first accused with a red boxer.
“The act which led to the death of the deceased was premeditated and not accidental. The pathologist report states no previous sickness of the deceased. The deceased have 2cm stab wounds in the neck, wide and fracture of the highbone and his right toes were inflicted, while his left eye boll was pluck out,” he said.
He added that the deceased’s death was neither accidental nor suicidal but Homicidal and it was done with malice aforethought.
He said the pathologist report states that the missing toe was not consistent with the dog feasting on the body and that the cause of death was unnatural in a manner of ritual murder.
“We submit that the accused persons conspired and murdered David Sydney Buckle Jr. That is our case. We therefore most respectfully urge you the jurors that you listen to the defense carefully and returned a verdict of guilty of all accused persons on the two counts,” he said.
DPP submitted that all the accused persons were present at the party but later the first accused left between the hours of 2:3 am and returned at 6 am.
Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned to August 24, 2016 for the defense team to do their final submission before the judge would hand down judgment on the matter.
The trio are before the court on two counts of conspiracy and murder, contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
The prosecution alleges that on May 22, 2015 the accused persons murdered the deceased at the resident of the First accused.
They have been on remand since the trial started.