By Landing Ceesay
Justice Basiru B.V.P Mahoney of the High Court of the Gambia has rejected the cautionary and voluntary statements of the 5th accused person (Fabakary Jawara) in the alleged coup plotters’ trial.
On the last adjourned date, the prosecution (State) applied to tender the cautionary and voluntary statements obtained from the 5th accused person by the police into evidence.
However, the application was objected to by the Counsel for the 1st and 5th accused persons Lawyer LS Camara.
The Fifth Prosecution Witness, ASP Sanusi Darboe informed the court that he was assigned to obtain cautionary and voluntary statements from the 5th accused person. He testified that when he obtained the 5th accused person’s statements there was no independent witness present.
Counsel LS Camara argued that the said documents are not admissible since the statements were obtained in the absence of an independent witness.
Counsel LS Camara cited Section 31 subsection 2 of the Evidence Act. Which States that “A confession shall not be admissible if the statement was made by an accused while under arrest, detention or restriction by state agents unless the confession was made in writing by the accused or someone on his behalf and signed or thump printed by the accused in the presence of an independent witness such witness not be a member of Police or Armed or Security agent.”
Counsel LS Camara said the language of the Evidence Act is categorically clear as to the need for an independent witness and how the statement should be obtained.
In today’s hearing, Justice Mahoney agreed with the submission of Counsel LS Camara and rejected the statements.
This medium would bring you the full ruling on this issue once it is available to the public.
Sanna Fadera (the 1st accused) and 3 other soldiers of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) and a Police Officer from the Gambia Police Force (GPF).
The Four (4) Soldiers and one (1) Police Officer are accused of an attempted alleged Coup and been charged with 5 counts including treason.
The People charged are; Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera (1st accused) Private Officer, Gibril Darboe (2nd accused) Corporal Ebrima Sannoh (3rd accused), and Corporal Omar Njie (4th accused), Fabakary Jawara (5th accused) is the Police Officer charged alongside the Soldiers.