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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Court rules accused in PIU shooting not drugged or beaten

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By Bruce Asemota

The High Court in Banjul, presided over by Justice Ebrima Jaiteh, has declared that Ousainou Bojang, the suspected PIU shooter, was not drugged or beaten by officials of the Anti-Crime Unit before obtaining his statements.

Justice Jaiteh made this declaration in a ruling delivered yesterday predicated upon an objection raised by lawyer L.J. Darbo, legal counsel for Ousainou Bojang, the alleged PIU shooter on the admissibility of the cautionary and voluntary statements allegedly made by the suspect.

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Justice Jaiteh disclosed that the suspect contested the admissibility of these statements on the grounds of involuntariness.

According to the judge, the issue of involuntariness was based on the allegations that the suspect alleged he was drugged, beaten and there was no independent witness.

But Justice Jaiteh said after listening to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and having listened to the testimony of Ousainou Bojang and his witness, Amie Bojang, his sister, it is certain that the voire dire gave rise to one issue whether the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the documents were obtained voluntarily from the Ousainou Bojang, having regard to the evidence on record.

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The trial judge said the alleged PIU shooter testified that he was given coffee and he drank it and went into sleep but did not state how the coffee affected his health other than putting him to sleep and he did not raise any complaint to the police or any other person of any ill heath as a result of the coffee he drank.

The judge also said that the suspect did not also subject himself to any toxicology test to suggest that he was drugged.

The judge further said the accused testified that he was beaten to confessed but he refuses to confess and the Judge pointed out then why he thumb printed blank empty papers without knowing the content of the said papers.

Justice Jaiteh asserted that the presence of an independent witness is mandatory and the failure of such, thus renders the cautionary statement obtained on the 14th of September inadmissible.

Justice Jaiteh further held that the statement recorder, complied with the Judges rule complied with as Ousainou Bojang was cautioned, the place, the time and date were recorded on the voluntary statement.

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