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Ya Binta Jarju was shot in the forehead, accused tells court

May 12, 2015, 10:45 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Mustapha Njie, who was charged with causing the death of Ya Binta Jarju, on 11 May 2015 told the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court that Ya Binta Jarju was shot in the forehead, when she turned to look back while she was in his car.

Njie testified before Magistrate Gomez.

When the case was called, Sergeant 3560 Colley told the court he, along with Chief Inspector Fadera, was representing the IGP.

Lawyer Edu Gomez announced his representation for the accused.

The accused, Mustapha Njie, told the court that he is a driver and lives at Kanifing South, and that he is being remanded at Mile 2 prisons.

He testified that on 7 March 2015, he did not stop at a checkpoint when he was asked to do so because he did not have a driving licence, hence military officers pursued him and fired a warning shot.

Mr Njie said he diverted to another street and parked his car near some flower trees, adding that there were some shots before he parked the car.

He adduced that when he parked the car, he alighted with Sulayman Bah, who asked the military officers to help him take Ya Binta Jarju out of the car, as she had already died.

Mr Njie stated that the military officers did not help Sulayman Bah, but abandoned them at the scene, and he and Sulayman Bah took Ya Binta Jarju out of the car.

He said he was arrested by someone who was not wearing a uniform, after the military officers had left.

Mr Njie said that prior to the shooting, Ya Binta did not complain about any illness, adding that parking his car did not cause any injuries to Ya Binta Jarju or Sulayman Bah.

Under cross-examination by Sergeant 3560 Colley, Mr Njie told the court that he was hired by Ya Binta Jarju and Sulayman Bah to take them from Palma Rima to Latrikunda.

He said he did not ask Ya Binta and Sulayman for a price for hiring him, because of their relationship.

He admitted that it was his duty to drive carefully, and that there was a security checkpoint mounted at Manjai near the petrol station, but he failed to stop.

At this juncture, Chief Inspector Fadera asked the accused whether he knew the punishment for unlicenced driving, and Mr Njie answered in the negative.

Still under cross-examination, Mr Njie further told the court he did not know the punishment for failure to stop.

He said he did not hear any gunshots, when it was put to him that because of his failure to stop the military officers fired.

Mr Njie said he was not aware that he was being chased by the military officers, adding that he did not know the number of gunshots fired.

It was put it to him that three gunshots were fired when the military officers stood in front of his car, but he said he did not know.

When asked whether he was not stopped and challenged previously by the security officers and he failed to stop, Lawyer Edu Gomez objected, saying the accused was being impeached.

Magistrate Gomez upheld the objection.

The accused, Mustapha Njie, said he had been driving for 15 years.

It was put to him that his failure to stop at the checkpoint led to the death of Ya Binta Jarju, but he denied this.

It was also put to him that the aim of the shooting at the car was to disable it.

Lawyer Edu Gomez objected, saying the accused would not know.

Magistrate Gomez upheld the objection.

The accused said he did not check the speedometer to know at what speed he was driving, adding that he was not driving fast.

He was asked about the speed limit for built-up areas, and he said it is 60 km and below.

Chief Inspector Fadera told him that it is 25 miles per hour and that is less than 60 km, adding that the accused was driving at more than 60 km, but Mr Njie denied this.

When it was finally put to him that it was his action that caused the death of Ya Binta Jarju, Njie again denied this.

At this juncture, Lawyer Gomez announced that it was the closure of the defence case, adding that he would file a written brief.

The case was adjourned to 21 May 2015, for adoption of briefs by the defence and the prosecution.