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City of Banjul
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Court to admit or reject alleged PIU shooter’s statements

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By Bruce Asemota

Justice Ebrima Jaiteh will today rule whether to admit the statements of alleged PIU shooter Ousainou Bojang. The accused’s lawyers have asked the court to reject them because they were taken under duress.

 In his argument Monday, the Director of Public Prosecution, AM Yusuf urged the court to admit the cautionary and voluntary statements of Ousainou Bojang in the voire-dire, trial within trial.

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The DPP submitted that the essence of the voire dire was to determine the voluntariness of the cautionary and voluntary statements which were sought to be tendered in the main trial.

He pointed out that the subject matter was in relation to the statements made by Ousainou Bojang on 15 September, 2023.

He revealed that the said statements were obtained voluntarily based on the evidence before the court and that the evidence of the statement recorders, Ebou Sowe and Alieu Cham, the independent witness and the station dairy are indicative that the statements were obtained voluntarily.

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DPP Yusuf further argued that Ousainou Bojang testified that there was no statement and rather he didn’t make any statement or the statements were not obtained from him, meaning he disowned his own statements.

“A mere denial will not stop the court from admitting confessional statements, rather the court ought to admit such statements,” said DPP Yusuf.

He went on to argue that the evidence of Ousainou Bojang in the voire dire fell short of showing allegations of duress, coercion of any type whilst he was giving those statements.

He therefore urged the court to admit the statements.

In his counter submission, defence counsel, Lamin J. Darbo argued that there were no independent witnesses present when his client’s statements were obtained on 15 September, and that the cautionary and voluntary statements were not recorded by audio or video and the cautionary wordings were not read to him before his statements were obtained.

He urged the court to reject the said statements.

Also responding, Lawyer LK Mboge, counsel for Amie Bojang, submitted that there are irregularities in obtaining the statements of Ousainou Bojang and that Bojang denied the charges and the statements sought to be tendered were made in gross violation of his fundamental right.

He urged the court not to admit these statements.

Justice Ebrima Jaiteh adjourned the matter to today for ruling.

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