More witnesses testify in gang rape trial

Monday, October 30, 2017

The criminal trial involving suspected gang rapists; Balema Sohna and Muhammed Hydara, continued recently before presiding judge, Simeon A. Abi of the Basse High Court.

The prosecution led by State Counsel L. Jarju called three more witnesses to testify before the court.

Mamasa Tunkara, a business woman and a resident of Missiraba Mariama village in the Upper River Region, recalled that on the alleged day of the incident, which was during the month of Ramandan, she prepared porridge and asked the victim to take it to her grandmother.

The witness said that on the victim’s way back home, she was stopped and dragged into the house and allegedly raped.

The witness further said the victim left her clothes, wrapper and underwear at the crime scene and ran naked to her grandmother’s house where she met Aminata Danso (PW2) who gave her clothes to wear.

The witness revealed that the victim was escorted back to the house where they met her sleeping and when she was woken up she was told that something sacrilegious has happened to the victim.

She further revealed that the matter was then reported to the Village Development Committee.

In his testimony, Arfang Bah, a nurse told the court that the victim was brought to Fatoto Health Center by the police informing him that she had been raped.

The witness revealed that he conducted examination on the victim with a Ceprum (someone with the same sex as her) and that during the course of examining her, he observed that there were some sperm stains or dots on the vulva and the hymen was not present.

The witness said that after the examination, he prepared a report of his observation in a note and handed it to the police.

The Fatoto Health Center report dated 12th June, 2016 with a medical and Health, The Gambia patient prescription form for the victim (name withheld) dated 14th June, 2016 was jointly admitted and marked as exhibit.

The witness, in concluding his testimony, said from his examination and observation, there were injuries in the vulva and sperm stains and that in his opinion, there had been sexual intercourse.

The 3rd witness, Chief Inspector Sheriffo Manneh, attached to Basse Police Station testified that the accused persons were brought to the station on a charge of rape.

The witness said the docket file was brought for investigation and during the investigations he personally interviewed the suspects with regards to the allegations of rape.

Chief Inspector Manneh revealed that in the course of the interview, the suspects admitted and confessed that they had sex with the victim and it was done forcefully without consent.

He further revealed that the confession was obtained in statements in the presence of an independent witness and that they gave the confession voluntarily without force or duress or promise of favour.

According to their revelations, they were brewing Attaya in Balema Sohna’s compound when the victim passed taking food to a neighbour.

On her way back home, her attention was drawn by one Dembo, who was now at large, they spoke for a short while and entered Balema compound.

Furthermore, that they all had sex with her in turns starting from Dembo, who was now at large and lastly Muhammed Hydara.

The girl escaped and ran out naked into the neighbourhood where she was helped with a wrapper to cover herself, thereafter the matter was reported to the police.

 Chief Inspector Manneh told the court that he visited the crime scene and the victim clothes were recovered.

Author: Bruce Asemota in Basse