Sunday, May 16, 2021

Driver Faces Murder Charge in Basse

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By Yankuba Jallow

The State has pressed murder charge on one Bakary Jallow, a driver who is accused of killing one Alieu Sanyang.

Appearing before Justice Landing J. Sanneh, Jallow pleaded not guilty to the charge and the prosecution were asked to open their case.

First prosecution witness Momodou O. Jallow said he is a police officer posted at the Janjanbureh Police Station. He informed the court that he has been a policeman for seven years as a general duty officer. He said he only spent a year and 3 months at the Janjanbureh station.

He testified that on the 24th July 2020, at around 1 pm, while on duty in Janjanbureh, the accused person (Bakary Jallow) was brought to the station for allegedly stabbing one Alieu Sanyang around the YBK Junction linking Janjanbureh. He said the accused person was told the offence he committed. He narrated that later in the day, Sanyang was pronounced dead by medical workers and at the time of the news of Sanyang’s demise, the witness said the accused person screamed and cried saying “oh, he is dead!” The witness said he was the one calming the accused person at the police station.

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He said after discussion with the station officer, the accused person was cautioned and a case file was opened for investigation.

“How was he cautioned?” asked State Counsel Ousman Kujabi for the Attorney General.

In his response, the witness said the accused person narrated what happened.

“What did the accused person tell you?” asked the State Lawyer.

The witness said the accused person told him that while coming from Kombo area, a car came from behind and overtook his vehicle. The witness added the accused person told him that he dived the vehicle that overtook him because there was another vehicle that came in front of him. He said at that point, the accused person parked his vehicle and was attacked by seven men including the alleged victim, Alieu Sanyang.

Jallow said the accused person told him that the seven attacked and began beating him.

“Bakary told me he couldn’t control his temper and this was when he opened his car and brought a screw driver which he used to stab the decease, Alieu Sanyang on his head,” the witness said.

The witness said the accused person was cautioned and detained at the station and he was subsequently charged by the Police.

“The accused person pleaded guilty,” the witness said.

The accused person was seen smiling and nodding his head manifesting his disagreement with the testimony of the witness.

Can you tell the court whether you are a CID officer or a traffic officer?” asked Lawyer Sheriff Kumba Jobe.

“I am a general duty officer,” the witness replied.

The witness said as a general duty officer, he was also a statement taker at the station.

“How long have you been obtaining statemenst from accused persons?” asked Lawyer Jobe.

“7 years,” the witness said.

 “Is it true that all you narrated did not happen in your presence – you were told? Lawyer Jobe told the witness.

“Yes,” the witness said.

“Where did you record what the accused person narrated to you?” the Lawyer asked.

“It was recorded in the cautionary statement,” the witness replied.

The witness said he was the one who recorded the accused person’s cautionary and voluntary statements.

“Where is the cautionary statement?” the Lawyer asked.

“It is in court,” the witness said.

“When you say it is in court what do you mean?” the Lawyer asked.

“It is with the people prosecuting the case,” the witness replied.

“If you are asked to produce the document will you be able to produce it,” the Lawyer poised.

“If I see it I can recognise it,” the witness answered.

“It is correct that the story was narrated to you and subsequently you decided to write that in the cautionary and voluntary statements,” the Lawyer said.

“Yes,” the witness answered.

The witness said at the time the accused person narrated the story, there were some people present including the independent witness, Alagie Sawaneh who works at the Governor’s Office in Janjanbureh.

“Is it true that you recorded it?” asked Lawyer Jobe.

“Yes,” the witness answered.

“Is it correct that after the accused person narrated the story you cautioned and charged him,” the Lawyer asked.

“Yes,” the witness replied.

“Do you know it was wrong to speak to the accused person without cautioning him?” the Lawyer asked.

“Yes,” the witness replied.

“How many statements did you record from the accused person?” SK Jobe asked.

“I recorded only one,” the witness answered.

The witness said the case was investigated by one Detective Sergeant Sanneh.

“You actually charged the accused person before the investigation,” the Lawyer put.

“No,” the witness replied.

“And how long did the investigation last?” the Lawyer asked.

“I am not the investigating officer,” the witness said.

“In this case, you are very close to the case and you must know it,” the Lawyer insisted, but the witness maintained that he was not the investigating officer in the case.

“Is it two or three weeks?” the Lawyer poised.

“I cannot say,” the witness replied.

“Is it correct to say you were not present at the crime scene?” the Lawyer asked.

“Yes,” the witness said.

“How long did it take you to obtain the cautionary statement?” the Lawyer asked.

“It was less than 2 hours,” the witness said.

“What language was the accused person speaking to you,” the Lawyer asked.

“Fula,” the witness said.

“What language was the cautionary and voluntary statements recorded?” asked the Lawyer.

“English Language,” the witness answered.

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