Lawyer claims client’s testimony obtained under duress

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By Binta A Bah

Lawyer Sagarr Gaye, representing one Jerreh Bojang, who is accused of robbery with violence and money laundering, has told a high court judge that his client’s statement was obtained under duress by the police.

Gaye argued that Bojang’s testimony was not taken voluntarily, forcing the court to enter a “voir dire” (trial within trial) to check whether his statement was taken under duress.

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The lawyer made this accusation when the prosecution wanted to tender the accused’s statement through a police officer who claimed that he obtained his statement.

The judge granted his request and the police officer, Dodou Jammeh, attached to the serious crime unit was asked to tell the court how he obtained the accused’s statement.

Jammeh refuted the lawyer’s allegation, explaining to the court that the document was obtained voluntarily in the presence of an independent witness.

Bojang is standing trial alongside one Biram Gai on charges of robbery with violence and money laundering. They are accused of threatening and wounding one Zubairu Abdou Salam in the Lower River Region and stealing D60,000 and CFA 425,000 equivalent to D38,000. Prosecutors further accused them of depositing another D100,000 to personal accounts which monies are proceeds of a crime. They pleaded not guilty.