Deceased statement tendered in murder trial

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The High Court in Banjul presided over by Justice Ebrima Jaiteh yesterday admitted a statement obtained from Momodou Jagne at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital before he passed away.

This development came in the wake of the 2nd prosecution witness’ testimony in a murder trial involving the state and one Ebrima Saidykhan (accused).

Testifying before the court, first corporal Babucarr Jallow recalled that he recorded the deceased statement on the 23rd March, 2015 at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, after he was assigned by his Station Officer (SO) to do so.

Upon arrival at the ward where the deceased was admitted, he testified that he explained his mission and the deceased narrated what transpired between him and the accused person (Ebrima Saidykhan).

The witness told the court that the deceased disclosed that the accused person took a stick and hit him on his head and he sustained injury.

First Corporal 4744 Jallow further told the court that at the time of taking the statement, the deceased was very weak, with difficulty to speak and disturbed, further testifying that the deceased spoke in a low voice.

The witness identified the said statement when it was shown to him and was admitted and marked as Exhibit “A”.

Responding to questions posed by defense counsel, Omar Susso of Legal Aid Agency during cross-examination, the witness told the court that he could not remember the exact time but he recorded the deceased statement on the 23rd March 2015.

The witness disclosed that at the time of obtaining the deceased statement, the ward was not noisy and the deceased wasn’t unconscious.

Put to the witness that the deceased was unable to write the correct account of the deceased story as he was weak and unable to speak to his hearing, the witness replied that he wrote the correct story from the deceased and thereafter the deceased thumb-printed it and he (witness) signed.

It could be recalled that the accused person; Ebrima Saidykhan is standing trial on a single count of murder contrary to section 187 of the Criminal Code Cap 10:01 Volume 3, Revised laws of the Gambia, 2009.

The particulars of offence stated that the accused on the 19th March 2015 at Sinchu Wurry Village in the West Coast Region, with malice aforethought, unlawfully caused the death of the deceased, Momodou Jagne by hitting him on the head with a stick.

Hearing continues on the 16th July, 2018.

Author: Bruce Asemota