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Police officer cross-examined in voire dire trial

Jul 29, 2013, 9:34 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

Ousman Bah, a police officer attached to the major crime unit at the police headquarters in Banjul, was recently cross-examined in the ongoing defilement trial involving one Demba Sowe, a Senegalese national.

The accused, Demba Sowe, is being tried at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul for allegedly deflowering an underage girl of 12 years in Farafenni Town, in the North Bank Region, a charge he had since denied.

A voire dire was conducted to ascertain the voluntariness of the statement the accused made to the police during the course of investigation into the case.

Under cross-examination, officer Bah told the court he was not aware that the accused had filed a complaint that he was beaten by the complainant on the day of the incident.

He stated that all what he said was the truth, adducing that he had tried to find someone who could speak Fula but could not.

The accused was a Fula, but he could speak Wolof and he tried to find a Fula interpreter but to no avail, he said.

Officer Bah further stated under cross-examination that the independent witness could understand what was going on but could not speak Fula.

The independent witness was able to understand through interpretation, he said, adding that the statement of the accused was obtained in the presence of the independent witness.

“I did not know what happened to the first statement of the accused which he wrote at the Farafenni Station,” Officer Bah said.

Officer Bah told the court that he was only assigned to obtain statement from the accused, adding that the accused was not induced, and the statement was his own words.

He was not promised bail, and the accused never told him he was beaten, nor did he tell him he was impotent, Officer Bah said.

The accused, he explained further, could speak Fula and Wolof, and he spoke to him in Wolof.

The case continues.