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GAMBIA: ALLEGED COP KILLER PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN FIRST WITNESS TESTIMONY

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In the trial of Ousainou Bojang, the alleged murderer of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers, the State has presented its first witness. Both Bojang and his older sister Amie Bojang pleaded not guilty to the offenses against them.

Ismaila Bojang, the witness, is a member of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF). He testified that he witnessed the gunshot from the Sukuta-Jabang traffic signals on the day of the incident.

Ismaila Bojang informed the court that he could recall the events that transpired at the Sukuta-Jabang traffic signals on September 12, 2023.

Bojang, a member of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), testified that he, Bakary R. Jabbi, and Omar S. Jallow were designated for overseas training in Turkey by the GAF.

Due to their overseas training obligations, the witness stated that he routinely engaged in physical exercise at the seashore with Bakary R. Jabbi and Omar S. Jallow.

“Therefore, on that honorable day, upon returning from the seashore. A ride deposited us off at the Sukuta traffic signals junction. Bakary R. Jabbi and I crossed the road and waited on the veranda of a building for Omar S. Jallow to return with the Afra after he had purchased it. At the moment, we were facing Jabang while seated behind the police officers.

“Following the return of Omar and Afra, we heard a gunfire. We believed it to be a negligent discharge. We shifted our focus to others and observed a police officer prostrate on the ground with his rifle. The second police officer attempted to strike the gunman, but the gunman fired him in the torso. At that moment, I rushed from the veranda to rescue the police officers. The female police officer was wounded when she stood up and attempted to flee. I was rushing towards the location. Ismaila Bojang told the court that the gunman fled towards Sukuta at that moment.

Ismaila then testified in court that he, Omar S. Jallow, and Bakary R. Jabbi pursued the assailant while chanting “thief, thief, thief” at the time.

As they approached the roundabout, the shooter abruptly turned around, according to the witness. Ismaila perceived that the gunman intended to fire at him, but he swiftly positioned himself on the right before hearing a gunfire.
The witness also testified that the attacker fled in the direction of Sukuta.

“Thereafter, he bent the first intersection on the right. After a few meters of running, the shooter turned around, at which point I pressed to my right and heard the discharge again. I pursued him in this manner for an estimated 300 to 400 meters. I saw someone approaching us, so I yelled again, “Thief, thief, thief, catch him!” When I began exclaiming “thief, thief,” he halted for approximately 2 to 3 seconds.

“By that time, it was dusk and visibility was limited. My continued shrieking as a criminal was intended to attract the attention of the throng. Later on, I lost sight of him on my left and met someone who informed me that he had climbed the fence. I scaled the fence without seeing anything. Then I traveled in the opposite direction, where I also saw nothing. My colleague Bakary R. Jabbi advised me against jumping the other fence to pursue him because the assailant was armed,” he said.

Ismaila reported that he and Bakary R. Jabbi discovered the Police Officers had been evacuated upon their return to the crime site.

He went on to explain to the court that they attempted to secure the crime scene and wait for the police to arrive, but were unable to do so because of the large crowd that had gathered in the area.

Ismaila and his colleague Bakary R. Jabbi came across two empty cartridge cases while searching the crime site. Ismaila testified that these rounds originated from a pistol that was plainly visible in the shooter’s hand.

Ismaila responded to the court’s request for a description of the gunman he had pursued by stating that the individual was taller than he was and had muscular thighs.

The witness also stated that the gunman wore a yellowish shirt and three-quarter length pants.

In cross-examination, the witness informed the court that they had given the Police the empty cartridge cases.

Ousainou and Amie Bojang made their initial appearance before Kanifing Magistrates’ Court Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang on September 21, 2023, facing charges related to the shooting incident at Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights on September 12, 2023, which resulted in the tragic deaths of two PIU officers and the severe injury of another.

The police initially filed four accusations against the suspect, including two counts of murder, one count of terrorism, and one count of accessory after the fact to murder. Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang subsequently transferred the murder trial to the Special Criminal Division of The Gambia’s High Court.

The case was presented to the Honorable Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court of The Gambia on October 12, 2023.

The State filed six accusations against Ousainou Bojang, the principal suspect in the murders of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers, and one charge against his older sister, Amie Bojang, on October 19, 2023.

Ousainou and Amie Bojang both submitted not guilty pleas on October 24, 2023. The state then presented its initial prosecution witness.

The hearing will resume on November 7, 2023, with the cross-examination of the first prosecution witness and the continuation of the case.

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