IPO concludes testimony in murder trial

Thursday, November 01, 2018

The investigating police officer (IPO) Trawally recently concluded his testimony in the murder trial involving the State and Ebrima Saidykhan. The accused is standing trial before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court in Banjul.

Ebrima Saidykhan, it was alleged, with malice aforethought, unlawfully caused the death of one Momodou Jagne by hitting him with a big stick on the 19th of March, 2015 at SinchuWurry village in the Kombo North District of West Coast Region.

 The witness testified that as the IPO, he obtained the cautionary and voluntary statements of the accused person; he also obtained witness statements from the witnesses concerned in the case and prepared a police report that he attached to the file and forwarded to his superiors and then to the Attorney General’s Chambers.

IPO Trawally indicated that the original copy of the accused cautionary statement was missing but the copy given to him was a photocopy by the prosecuting counsel, James Mendy.

He disclosed that Supt. Buba Bah at the Police Headquarters in Banjul certified the photocopy.

At this juncture, the presiding judge asked if the said document was accompanied by an affidavit and the witness replied in the negative.

Justice Jaiteh disclosed that the document should have been accompanied with an affidavit and borne the inscription that it is a certified true copy of the accused person’s cautionary statement.

Meanwhile the said document was admitted as Exhibit ‘Z’.

Responding to questions posed by defence counsel, S. Fatty of the National Agency for Legal Aid, the witness disclosed that the matter started as an assault case but after one month the victim died.

IPO Trawally told the court that during the cause of investigations, he realised that fighting broke out between the accused person and the deceased, noting that the deceased started the fight as he was the first to hit the accused person.

The IPO indicated that during the course of investigations he realised that both the accused person and the deceased were injured and taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

The witness confirmed that when the document was stamped he was not present but indicated that the photocopied documents were the certified copies of the original cautionary statement of the accused person.

Hearing continues on the 12th of November, 2018 for the prosecution to call PW3 and the presiding judge exhorted the witness as a diligent police officer for having been attending court since 2015.

Author: Bruce Asemota