Oct 7, 2008, 4:56 AM
The Special Criminal Court on Monday acquitted and discharged two former officers of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), who were accused of murder.
Ebou Lowe and Eku P L Grant were charged with murder after they allegedly beat one Cherno Alieu Suwareh, leading to his death, for being suspected of possession of cannabis sativa.
The trial judge in his judgment indicated that the accused persons were charged with one count of murder, and the particulars of offence stated that on 25th March 2011, at Bakau Sanchaba, they caused the death of the Suwareh by hitting him on his head.
He noted that the accused persons denied the charge, adding that the prosecution called 16 witnesses in support of their case and tendered ten exhibits including the medical report, as well as the cautionary and voluntary statements of the accused persons.
The presiding judge further explained that the accused were paraded at the Banjul Police Headquarters where the 1st accused was identified, noting that to have a conviction the prosecution must establish that the death of the deceased was caused by the action of the accused and the action was intentional.
He added that he found that Suwareh has died, and the court could rely on the medical report before it, stating that there was evidence that the 1st accused had held the deceased person’s rasta and smashed him against the wall.
He also stated that it was clear that the deceased person’s head was badly smashed against the wall.
However, he added, there was no direct evidence that the death of Suwareh was caused by the action of the accused persons, adding that if were so the medical report would have shown it.
He stated that the prosecution had not proven its case beyond all reasonable doubts.
He consequently acquitted and discharged the accused persons.
Meanwhile, the Deputy DPP applied for the accused persons to be remanded in custody, pending the outcome of an appeal.
However, the court subsequently granted them bail of D2 million with two Gambian sureties with landed property within the Greater Banjul Area.