Independent Witness Testifies in Alleged Police Shooter’s Murder Trial

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By Kemeseng Sanneh (Kexx)

Alieu Cham testified on Monday, 12 February 2024 in the murder trial of Ousainou Bojang, who allegedly shot and killed two policemen and injured a policewoman.

Ousainou Bojang, a resident of Brufut, is facing charges of murder, attempted murder, committing a terrorist act, and assault causing grievous bodily harm. His sister, Amie Bojang, is charged with accessory after the fact to murder.

The prosecution alleged that on 12 September 2023 while at the Sukuta traffic lights, Ousainou Bojang, shot three police personnel with a gun, resulting in the death of two leaving the other with life-threatening injuries. Ousainou denied the allegations in court.

Alieu Cham said he was present at the time Police were taking the statement of Ousainou Bojang at the Anti-Crime Unit, Banjulinding.

Ousainou’s lawyer, Lamin J. Darboe, challenged the admissibility of the statements saying he was coerced to make the statement. This culminated in a ‘Trial within a Trial’ which means the court is now focused on the statements to test whether they were obtained voluntarily without force or the police used force to obtain them. The first prosecution witness has already testified.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Abdul Maita Yusuf asked the second prosecution witness Alieu Cham (PW2) to explain to the court what he witnessed when Ousainou was invited.

At the statement taking, the witness testified that Detective Sowe informed Ousainou Bojang that he was there to obtain his statement, adding that whatever he (Ousainou) said would be recorded on the document.

The witness stated that Detective Sowe then started writing the defendant’s statement and asked him (Ousainou) if he was ready to talk. Ousainou answered affirmatively in the Wollof language and the process started, he told Court. The witness explained that the line of questioning was centred on the shooting incident.

Still testifying, the witness said Detective Sowe asked Ousainou in which language he would prefer the statement to be read, and Ousainou requested for it to be read in Mandinka.

Alieu Cham further testified that after Detective Sowe finished writing Ousainou’s statement, he read it loud in Mandinka to Ousainou, as his proficiency in Wollof is limited.

After the reading, Ousainou reviewed the document and confirmed that it was accurately transcribed. He said the document was thumb printed by Ousainou and he also thumb-printed it.

When questioned by the DPP whether he would recognise the document if shown to him, the witness responded positively that he would be able to identify it because his name and telephone number were written beside the place he thumb-printed.

Director Public Prosecution further asked the witness whether he memorised his phone number, to which the witness responded positively and was asked to read it.

The DPP sought to tender the document as evidence and asked the witness to confirm that the document in question was the one obtained from Ousainou in his presence, the witness confirmed the document.

DPP Yusuf asked whether, after the document’s acquisition, anything subsequent occurred. The witness answered positively, and the Director of Public Prosecutions asked him to elaborate on what occurred.

The witness testified that after the statement was obtained from Ousainou, they had a chat, but couldn’t remember where the chat started. He said during the chat Ousainou disclosed his work place and residence to him. He gave some details of the conversation.

DPP Yusuf asked the witness whether Detective Sowe obtained other statements apart from the voluntary statement. The witness responded positively that Detective Sowe collected other statements, but he’s unsure of the exact number due to the large quantity of charges.

When asked how the charges were presented to Ousainou, the witness said he was not certain about the numbers, but he heard Detective Sowe questioning Ousainou about his acceptance of the charges. Initially, Ousainou denied them and later acknowledged some of the charges.

Asked whether he would be able to identify the document (charges), the witness answered in the affirmative.

At this point, the court adjourned the case to today for the continuation of his testimony at 14:15.