Trial of suspected pregnant Woman killer progresses

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The criminal trial of Essa Jarju continued yesterday, 28th May, 2019 before Justice Sainabou Wadda –Cisse of the High Court in Banjul.

The accused person; Essa Jarju is charged with two counts of murder and attempt to commit to felony contrary to the laws of The Gambia.

Prosecution alleged that the accused sometime in June 2017 at Fajikunda in the Kanifing Municipality caused the death of one Mariama Bojang whilst attempting to have unlawful carnal knowledge with her.

Testifying before the Court, Pw3, Omar Cham told the court that he obtained the cautionary and voluntary statements of the accused person in the presence of one Karamba Fatty, an independent witness.

He further told the court that he first obtained the cautionary statement and based on that, the accused was charged with murder.

State Counsel A.M. Yusuf produced the purported cautionary and voluntary statements and gave to the witness which he identified. When State Counsel applied to tender the said statements as exhibits, defence counsel S. Fatty of the National Legal Aid Agency objected to the admissibility on the grounds that the statements were not obtained voluntarily.

Defence Counsel Saikou Fatty argued that the accused person was induced and tortured to give his statement. He also argued that the person named as the independent witness was not Karamba Fatty but one Colley, a police officer.

The presiding judge, Sainabou W. Cisse in her ruling overruled the defence counsel’s objection and admitted and marked the cautionary and voluntary statements as exhibits ‘A’ and ‘B’ respectively.

The Witness; Omar Cham told the court that he took part in the investigation of the case. He testified that he went with the accused person and other police officers to the compound where he murdered the victim in Fajikunda.

The witness further testified that the victim was pregnant and some photographs of the crime scene were taken.

Asked as to how the accused person was arrested, the witness told the court that the accused person was brought to Yundum police station in connection with a different case but it was during interrogation that the accused person confessed to have murdered the pregnant woman.

The witness further told the court that the accused was first detained at the charge office and then forwarded to the CID office.

The matter was adjourned to 7th June, 2019 for cross examination of the witness by defence counsel S. Fatty of the National Legal Aid agency.

Author: Bruce Asemota