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Defence opens in murder case

Mar 22, 2013, 10:23 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

Defence opened yesterday in the murder case involving one Musa Camara, a native of Kombo Sanyang Village, in the Kombo South District of the West Coast Region, at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul before Justice Emmanuel Nkea.

The accused, Musa Camara, told the Special Criminal Court that he was a mason by profession, and he knew the deceased, Alhagie Conta, as a neighbour.

He denied the claim that the brother of the deceased, Sainey Conta, had spotted him hitting the deceased or giving the deceased knee box, as alleged.

On 24 October 2011, he went on, he contracted the deceased to make a parliament box, while he went to work at Sambouyaa village, he said, explaining that while he was at work, his cement got finished, which prompted him to close for the day.

He said upon his arrival at home, he found the deceased, Alhagie Conta, working at his home together with one Muhammed Jones, and he went straight into his house.

The accused added that he was working outside of his house when he saw Sainey Conta calling his brother, the deceased, to go and answer to one Sulayman but before the deceased left, the said Sulayman came and stood at the gate.

He testified that Sulayman asked the deceased about what he was doing in his (the accused’s) compound and the deceased responded that he was working.

Sulayman further asked the deceased why he did not do the job at the workshop, and eventually slapped the deceased, and whisked him away.

He added that he packed the materials, and followed them, adding that as he was standing by the gate of the deceased; he overheard the father of the deceased saying ‘leave him alone.’

“I then pedaled my bicycle to run my errands,” he said, adding that this was all what he knew in the case.

Asked whether he had anything to add on what he had said, the accused told the court that his father and the father of the deceased had a fracas over the Imamship.

“My father was the Imam of the community mosque, but the father of the deceased says my father’s legs were not good, as a result he should be the Imam and not my father,” he said.

“I am the 3rd person to face such an accusation from the family of the deceased,” he said, adding that he was arrested by the police in Sanyang village on 29 October 2011, in connection to information received by the police from the family members of the deceased that he assaulted the deceased, which led to his death.

The witness stated that his first statement at the police was torn by the police CID at Sanyang Police Station, but the Station Officer said the deceased was telling lie, as a result, he arrested the deceased but when the father of the deceased gave D600 to the SO, he released the deceased.

“He later informed me that I should provide D2, 000 if I want bail. I refused. On 3 November 2011, I was granted bail,” he explained.

“On 11 November 2011, I was re-arrested, and while in the cell, I was confronted with the allegation that I killed the deceased,” he stated.

They brought a statement to sign, to which he refused, and was brutally assaulted, to sign the statement, he said, adding that because of the pain he signed it.

The case continues on 27 March 2013, for cross-examination.