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Murder suspect freed

Apr 18, 2013, 9:20 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

The Special Criminal Court in Banjul Tuesday acquitted and discharged one Lamin Njie, who was charged with the offence of murder.

Lamin Njie was alleged to have caused the death of one Muhammed Fadiga, on 7 September 2012 at Brikama, a charge he denied

Justice Emmanuel Nkea, delivering the judgment, stated that the prosecution led evidence through five witnesses and tendered two exhibits in support of their case.

The accused person also gave sworn evidence, and called one additional witness in his defence but did not tender any exhibit, he said.

The presiding judge pointed out that the brief facts of the case are that on 7 September 2012, two ladies, Amie Jallow and Amie Jeng, had a quarrel over a mobile phone, and the issue was settled by the accused, but the deceased later tried to provoke the ladies into quarrelling again.

He was admonished by the accused not to do so, and in return the deceased insulted the accused, and threw a hot charcoal pot with boiling Chinese green tea at him.

There was immediate retaliation, when the accused hit the deceased on the shoulder, the deceased went down in a sitting position and later collapsed and died, the judge went on.

The accused was arrested, and he volunteered to make a statement to the police, he said, adding that an autopsy was conducted on the body of the deceased and a report was issued.

He said the report was received in evidence as an exhibit.

The judge added that he had looked at exhibits A and B, the police cautionary statement of the accused and the autopsy report of the deceased respectively.

The judge also said the medical evidence before the court did not show that it was the act of the accused that caused the heart condition, from which the deceased died.

The consultant pathologist stated in the autopsy report that there was no evidence of violence, he said, adding that the retaliation in his view was reasonably proportionate, in the circumstance, and the response was in self-defence.

The accused hit the deceased on the chest or on the shoulder, and the accused did so in response and in retaliation to the attack on him by the deceased, who had thrown hot coal and boiling Chinese tea on him.

“What offence did the accused commit to warrant this offensive attack?” asked the judge.

“In asking the deceased not to help foment more trouble between the disputing women, the accused acted well as a reasonable and sensible person and as a peacemaker who had tried to resolve the dispute between the two women,” he added.

“He is a perfect gentleman. I must say his conduct is not to be blameworthy at all,” he stated.

It was the deceased who exposed himself to the stress factors of quarreling and fighting from which he developed a heart attack resulting in his sudden death, he said.

The judge then announced that the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubts, and consequently acquitted and discharged the accused person.