Prosecution’s application to suppress identity of witnesses rejected


CHIEF Magistrate Emma Garo has denied the application made by the prosecution in the case involving two men charged in connection with the November 2021 riot incident.

Prosecution had sought to suppress the identities of their nine witnesses, citing concerns about the safety and security of both the witnesses and their families at the hands of the defendants.

Public Prosecutor Dalcy Oligari argued that the identities of these nine witnesses should remain undisclosed to the defendants, and requested a suppression order to prevent the public and the defendants from accessing any information regarding the names, identities, and addresses of these witnesses.

After thoroughly considering the arguments presented by both the Prosecution and the Defence concerning this application, Ms Garo emphasized that the prosecution failed to provide concrete evidence demonstrating any instances of harassment or threats originating from the defendants or those acting on their behalf.

Ms Garo noted that while there were rumors and allegations concerning potential threats or intimidation, it was the duty of the police to thoroughly investigate such claims and verify their authenticity.

Ms Garo stressed that the prosecution bore the responsibility of establishing the reliability of the allegations of witness intimidation and the genuine fears experienced by the witnesses. She highlighted that the evidence required to reach a definitive conclusion was lacking in the case at hand.

“In this case, what has been presented to the court are general claims of witness intimidation and harassment attributed to unnamed members of the M4D over a span of three months. However, the necessary evidence to substantiate such assertions and allow the court to make a conclusive determination is notably absent,” stated CM Garo.

Chief Magistrate Garo ruled that the evidence provided by the prosecution to support their application was insufficient to warrant the issuance of the requested orders.

” I dismiss the application by the prosecution for suppression of the identity of witnesses, use pseudonym, audio video link and use of screens”, Ms Garo adds.

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