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HomeBreaking NewsGAMBIA: POLICE INVESTIGATOR REFUTES OUSAINOU BOJANG'S ALLEGATIONS OF TORTURE

GAMBIA: POLICE INVESTIGATOR REFUTES OUSAINOU BOJANG’S ALLEGATIONS OF TORTURE

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Ebou Sowe, in his capacity as the initial prosecution witness, proceeded to present evidence during the voir dire (Trial within trial) of the Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights murder case. During this period, he categorically refuted any claims that Ousainou Bojang, the alleged assailant in the fatalities of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) Officers, had been physically abused.

Sowe reassured the court during the previous court session that Ousainou Bojang had been in excellent health at the time of his testimony.
Counsel Lamin J. Darboe, who represents Ousainou Bojang, the alleged assailant in the fatalities of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) Officers, instigated the trial within a trial. Darboe expressed apprehension regarding the acquisition of his client’s statements through coercion, which he claimed included physical assault and drug use.

However, Sowe testified in court that during Ousainou Bojang’s (1st accused) stay at the Police Anti-Crime Unit from September 13th to September 23rd, 2023, he was never assaulted or drugged.

“As you recall, statements were obtained from Ousainou Bojang on September 14, 2023.” When did you first establish communication with the defendant subsequent to the commencement of this legal proceeding? AM Yusuf, Director of Public Prosecution, questioned Mr. Sowe.
“Since the day he was arrested on September 13, 2023, on his very first day,” Mr. Sowe informed the court.

“Did you defeat him between September 13th and September 23rd, 2023?” Again, DPP Yusuf questioned the witness.

Counsel LJ Darboe objected, stating that the question was leading, before Sowe could respond. This prompted Justice Ebrima Jaiteh to allow the question, which centered on the contention of being defeated during the voir dire.

“He (Ousainou Bojang) never suffered physical harm,” the witness declared in court.
Additionally, Mr. Sowe apprised the court that no occurrence occurred between September 13th and September 23rd, 2023, in which members of the Police Anti-Crime Unit administered narcotics to Ousainou Bojang (1st accused).

When queried whether he had obtained a statement from the first accused, Ousainou Bojang, on any date other than September 13th and 14th, 2023, the witness confirmed this and disclosed to the court that he had done so at approximately 1:00 pm.

This statement was formulated at approximately 13:00 hours. Following this, the identical protocol was implemented on September 14, 2023. “However, this time in the presence of Alieu Cham, an independent witness,” Mr. Sowe informed the court.

“At the moment this statement was obtained, what was the overall status of the defendant (Ousainou Bojang)?Yusuf, DPP, questioned the witness.

“He (Ousainou Bojang) was in excellent health,” stated the witness in court.

“Did the initial suspect sustain a physical assault during the investigation of this case from September 13th to the 15th, 2023?” Yusuf, DPP, questioned the witness.

The witness refuted the accused’s claim that Ousainou Bojang had ever been assaulted before the court.
“Has any medication been administered to him (Ousainou Bojang)?” DPP Yusuf inquired.
Mr. Sowe replied, “No, my lord,” in response to DPP Yusuf.

Additionally, he claimed that Ousainou Bojang did not lodge any complaints with them while employed by the Police Anti-Crime Unit, as stated by Mr. Sowe.

“In what manner did you acquire his voluntary statements on September 15, 2023?” Yusuf, DPP, questioned the witness.

“Voluntary statements were obtained regarding the following charges: murder, attempted murder, assault resulting in severe bodily harm, and prohibition of acts of terrorism.” Each statement was acquired through the application of the identical procedure as the preceding statements. The accused (Ousainou Bojang) thump-printed all the voluntary statements upon completion. “As the impartial witness who was called before the court, I signed in equal measure as the recorder,” the witness stated.
“How would you describe the general physical condition of Ousainou Bojang?” DPP Yusuf inquired.

“Ousainou Bojang was in excellent health.” “Throughout the entire proceeding, he was never beaten, my lord,” the witness testified in court.

“Did Ousainou Bojang administer or be under the influence of a drug prior to obtaining these voluntary statements?” Yusuf, DPP, questioned the witness.

“My Lord, Ousainou Bojang never used drugs prior to, during, or subsequent to the entire proceeding,” the witness testified in court.

“How many times did you approach the initial suspect throughout the investigation in order to obtain voluntary and cautionary statements?” Yusuf, DPP, questioned the witness.

The witness testified in court that he had eight interactions with Ousainou Bojang between September 13, 14, and 15, 2023.

The witness was presented with the cautionary statements for identification purposes; upon review, he confirmed that they corresponded with the statements acquired from Ousainou Bojang on September 14th and 15th, 2023.

The DPP Yusuf subsequently submitted an application to tender the documents into evidence, and they were admitted after the defense failed to object to their admissibility.

The cautionary statements are marked as VD 1 and VD 2 respectively.
The DPP Yusuf also applied to tender 14 voluntary statements obtained from the accused (Ousainou Bojang) on the 15th of September 2023 after the witness identified them, the documents were admitted into evidence after the defense raised no objection to the admissibility of these documents.

VD 3, VD 4, VD 5, VD 6, VD 7, VD 8, VD 9, VD 10, VD 11, VD 12, VD 13, and VD 14 are the designations of the documents.

“Did you happen to notice any irregularities on the accused during the course of gathering these statements?” Yusuf, DPP, questioned the witness.

Counsel LK Mboge, on the other hand, objected to the query on the grounds that it was leading.

Then, the Honorable Justice Jaiteh requested that DPP Yusuf rephrase the query.

Notwithstanding this, the witness reported not spotting any irregularities in Ousainou Bojang while gathering his voluntary and cautionary statements.

Subsequently, Counsel Lamin J. Darboe began cross-examining the witness. The completion of the cross-examination was not possible in time.

Subsequently, Respected Justice Jaiteh postponed the case until Monday in order to allow Counsel LJ Darboe to continue cross-examination.

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