Sunday, February 5, 2023

Bob Keita: Court orders taking of further DNA samples

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By Kemeseng Sanneh

The high court in Bundung yesterday, 18th July, 2022, ordered that blood samples be drawn from the alleged rape survivor for comparison purposes for DNA ascertainment of related samples. The court has ordered that this be done in the presence of the state authorities and counsels or representatives from the rape survivor’s family.

The court did not stop there but went further to order that where any party is subjected to a sample of DNA blood being drawn from them any other biological sample, even the hair of the deceased, can be used to establish the DNA paternity in this case.

Bubacarr Bob Keita is the accused in this criminal trial which has attracted so much public interest. He is charged with raping a sixteen year old girl (a minor).

The prosecution had applied for samples of DNA blood to be drawn to facilitate the paternity of the son of the alleged rape survivor (now deceased). On Wednesday, 13th July 2022, the court ordered that samples of DNA blood be taken from the accused (Bob Keita), Pa Modou Johm and Muhammed, son of the alleged rape survivor. The prosecution informed the court during yesterday’s proceedings that blood samples were taken from the accused and Pa Modou Johm, acting on the court order. They added that both samples were sealed and signed in the presence of the court clerk, the accused family and the state counsels and the whole process was video recorded by the court clerk.  He had earlier informed the court that blood sample was taken from Muhammed before he passed away.

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However, defence counsel, Lamin Camara, is opposed to the ruling and order of the court to draw samples of DNA and has filed an appeal in the Gambia Court of Appeal. He has also filed a motion for the setting aside of order or a stay of execution, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal at the Gambia Court of Appeal. The motion will be heard on 21st of July 2022 at 2:30 pm.

The proceedings were presided over by Justice MS Jallow. Counsel Kimbeng K. Tah announced his presence for the state alongside Assan Jobe and Lamin Ceesay whilst Lamin LS. Camara announced his presence for the defence with Fatou Jallow.

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