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Kuntaur murder trial continues

Oct 22, 2010, 12:55 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

The murder trial involving six accused persons from Kuntaur village in the Central River Region continued on Wednesday at the special criminal court in Banjul before Justice Ikpala.

The accused persons: Abdul Katir Sillah, Banna Sillah, Amadou Gai, Kebba Sawaneh, Balla Musa Conteh and Kadijatou Conteh are all charged with the murder of Amadou Jallow, the then imam of Kuntuar in Central River Region.

Testifying for the prosecution, detective Demba Saidy, a police officer attached to the Major Crime Unit at the police headquarters in Banjul, told the court that he obtained cautionary statements from the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 6th accused persons on different dates.

He said he obtained the cautionary statements from the accused persons by inviting different independent witnesses.

Detective Saidy adduced that he read the cautionary wording to the accused persons, and explained to them in the language they claimed to understand. He said they (the accused persons) thumb printed the statements, and the independent witness also signed the statements.

He identified the said statements in court, which the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, M. Abdullahi, applied to tender. The court admitted and tendered the said cautionary statements as exhibits without any objection from the defence counsel, EM Sissoho.

Officer Saidy further adduced that on 4th July 2008, he and the then officer commanding Major Crime Unit, Superintendent Malamin Ceesay, left for Kuntaur to investigate the matter.

He said at the scene of the alleged crime, they found a wooden stick lying by the fence of the deceased person's compound, which was collected to enable them make a finger print. The accused persons, he added, were later brought to Banjul.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel EM Sissoho, the state witness admitted visiting the scene three weeks after the alleged incident. He also told the court that the accused persons vehemently denied committing the alleged offence.

The case was at that juncture adjourned till 26th October 2010.