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Police officer testifies in Busura Alkalo trial

Mar 25, 2011, 12:43 PM | Article By: Binta Fatty-Gitteh

CPL 1387 Sheriffo Barrow, a police officer, on Wednesday testified in the trial of Omar Faye, the alkalo of Busura village, who is standing trial at the Brikama Magistrates' Court for alleged abuse of office.

Testifying as the ninth prosecution witness, Barrow told the court that he is a police officer attached to the Brikama Police Station CID Unit, and recognized the accused person.

"On 1 November 2010, I was on duty at the Brikama Police Station CID office, when I was assigned to obtain cautionary and voluntary statements from the accused person," CPL Barrow told the court.

"I invited the accused person to the office, and read the cautionary wording to him in the presence of an independent witness," he added.

He said the accused wrote and signed his own statement, the independent witness and Barrow also signed. The prosecutor applied to tender the said statements in court, but this was objected to by defence counsel Buba Jawo, on the grounds that the statements were not obtained voluntarily.

He said the accused was induced and threatened, quoting sections of the Evidence Act to buttress his objection. In response, the prosecuting officer, CPL Sarr, stated that the defence counsel’s objection was baseless.

He said it was very clear to the court that the witness said he only read the cautionary wording to the accused, and the accused wrote his own statements in the presence of the independent witness.

The defence counsel's objection was subsequently overruled by the trial magistrate, who admitted the statements tendered as exhibits.

The case was later adjourned to 30 March 2011.