Court rejects cautionary, voluntary statements in trial of prison officers

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Magistrate Janneh-Njie of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court yesterday rejected the cautionary and voluntary statements of Ebrima Njie.

The prosecution earlier applied to tender the statements, which the defence counsel, Patrick Gomez, objected to.

Ebrima Njie and Edrisa Manga were charged with aiding the former managing director of Taranga FM Radio, Abdoulie Ceesay, to escape from custody.

In her ruling, the presiding magistrate told the court the prosecution applied to tender the cautionary and voluntary statements of Ebrima Njie.

She added that the defence counsel objected because no proper foundation was laid.

The prosecutor said the prosecution had laid a proper foundation and called an independent witness.

The prosecution called a witness in the voire dire, and the accused had testified that he was under threat when they recorded his cautionary and voluntary statements, the magistrate went on.

The independent witness, who was a material witness, was never called to testify in the voire dire (trial within a trial).

His testimony was important to test the voluntariness of the cautionary and voluntary statements.

Magistrate Janneh-Njie added that the prosecution had failed in the voire dire.

She subsequently rejected the said documents.

Earlier, prosecutor Jaiteh had told the court that they have written to seek two weeks’ adjournment, in order to consider their position and to advise themselves.

The defence counsel did not oppose the application, but said 14 days was too long.

The case was then adjourned until 13 and 20 March 2017.

Author: Dawda Faye
Source: Picture: Magistrate’s Court