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Published On: Mon, Jun 10th, 2024

Kumba Sinyan to Open Defense on Next Adjourned Date 

Justice Sidi Jobarteh, in her ruling on the alleged murder trial of The State Vs Kumba Sinyan, ruled that Kumba Sinyan should open her defense on the court’s next adjourned date.

Justice Jobarteh had informed the court that on the 13th of May 2024, Counsel to the Accused filed a Motion seeking a review of the court’s order made on the 24th of April 2024. The defense requested the review because the order did not disclose the specific details of what they asked for, which was to test the mental and psychological status of the Accused.

She highlighted that the defence further filed an additional affidavit on the 14th of May 2024, with another additional affidavit on the 3rd of June 2024, with attachments.

Justice Jobarteh stated that the Prosecution had objected to the Application on law, and referred the Court to Section 132(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 45(1) of the Evidence Act as they argued that the order made by the Court was proper and the Medical Report submitted to the Court is in line with the order made by the Court.

She mentioned that in response to points of law, the Counsel to the Accused argued that the provision of the Evidence Act, which the Prosecution relied on, doesn’t apply in this case. The defense requested the Court to grant their Application in the interest of justice and fair hearing.

“To determine the application before the Court, the question I ask is whether the Court should review its order made on the 24th April 2024?” Justice Jorbateh said.

She further declared that the order of the Court made on the 24th April 2024 is in respect to the Application made by Counsel to the Accused for the Accused to be mentally examined to see if she is fit for trial. Adding that the order of the Court was directed to the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, to medically examine the Accused to ascertain if she is fit for trial. 

She expressed that on subsequent adjourned date, when the Court did not receive a Medical Report from Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, it made a follow-up order requesting for the Mental Assessment of the Accused to be done and a report sent to the Court before the next adjourned date. Highlighting that a Medical Report dated 20th May 2024 was prepared by Dr. Martha Hernadez of Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, a psychiatric Consultant, and submitted to the Court.

She stated that the first paragraph of the report reads that the Accused: “was referred from the Court of the Gambia for Medical Examination on her mental health before the next adjourned date”. The Medical Report before the Court is inrespect to the mental health of the Accused as requested by the defence and as directed by the court.

Justice Jaiteh declared that Counsel to the defence argued that, their Application is premised on the psychological aspect and not psychiatric status of the Accused.

“It is my view that, psychological and psychiatric all has to do with the mind and affects the mental status of the Accused.” She said. 

In her ruling, Justice Jobarteh said that “the Court hereby relies on the Medical Report of the Accused from Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and I shall go by its recommendations.

“After considering the submissions on both sides and after going through the processes before the Court, I hold that the Application lacks merit and it has been over taken by events. The Application is accordingly dismissed.I am satisfied that the Accused going by the Medical Report before the Court is fit for trial and I call upon her to enter her defence. I further order as recommended by the Report, for the Accused to be taken to Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital on or before the 30* of every month for a follow-up on her medical assessment.” She ruled.

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