Businessman Testifies in Westfield Bureau Murder Trial

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By Kemeseng Sanneh

Abdoulie Sillah, a businessman, Thursday testified in the murder trial involving Arona Tine, who allegedly killed a staff of a money exchange bureau in Westfield, Kanifing Municipality.

The witness said he recognised the accused person (Adama Tine) from an incident that happened around Alhivag Supermarket, Westfield involving a young lady.

The witness said the distance from the Bureau to the Alvihag Supermarket is like the distance between the witness stand to the judge’s chambers in court.

“I was inside Alvihag on a Friday around 1pm to 1:45pm. I heard people shouting outside. By then I was having a business meeting with the Manager of Alvihag. I asked what happened and I was told a lady was stabbed. Then I ran outside and I saw the young lady fell on the ground around the bureau. I ran near the lady and saw that she was bleeding,” the witness said.

“I noticed that she was stabbed around her chest with blood coming out and I also saw the accused standing where the lady was,” the witness said. 

The witness said he went to Alvihag Supermarket and bought an orange towel to support the lady for the bleeding to stop. The businessman said the accused person was standing about 2 metres from them and saw Arona Tine holding a knife.

“I realised that the accused was holding a knife and breathing heavily,” the witness said.

He said the deceased was supported by three (3) young ladies, who wore nurse uniforms. He added these ladies carried her and headed towards Banjul Pharmacy.

“After the lady was carried away, there were many young people around there because it was around Jummah time. I faced the accused person and I asked him what happened, but he did not respond. He [Adama Tine] was just holding the knife and breathing like an angry person. The accused took two steps back and went into the bureau, and then stabbed himself at the upper part of his body from his chest. I also moved back 3 metres away from him as I did not want him to run away. At the same time I called 3 police officers from Serekunda, but none of them answered except for one female officer from Tippa Garage. The accused turned and entered the bureau then I pulled the slide door but that was not enough. I had to pull the barricade on the door. Before the accused went into the bureau, he threw the knife away. I held the barricade of the door from 1:45 to 2:15 then that was when the PIU officers came,” the witness said.

The witness said while inside, he heard noise and suspected that Adama Tine was trying to hurt himself.

Senior Lawyer Omar Suso from the National Agency for Legal Aid cross-examined the witness.

The witness said the Manager of Alvihag Supermarket was the one who told him that the lady was stabbed. He added that he was with the manager inside the Supermarket and when they heard the noise, the Manager was the first person to come out and told him about the incident and this was when he came out.

The witness said he did not see the accused person stabbing the lady, but he saw him standing about 2 meters from her and holding a knife.

The case was adjourned to 1st July at 12:30, 2nd July at 10am, 3rd July at 11am, 8th July at 11:30, 9th July at 1pm, 22nd July at 11amand 23rd July at 11 am for continuation of the case.