Sunday, November 27

Defence lawyer cross-examines police witness in Sainabou Mbye trial

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Defence Lawyer C. Gaye on Tuesday cross-examined Police Investigator Bakary Dibba of the Serious Crime Unit, who testified as the 4th prosecution witness (PW4) in the criminal trial of Sainabou Mbye, Cherno Mbye and Kibili Dambelly.

The defendants are facing criminal charges of manslaughter and exposing child to danger, which they have all pleaded not guilty to.

Under cross-examination, the witness told the court that he visited the scene of the alleged incident only once, which was on the 20th of July 2002, and that was the day they received the case file of the accused persons.

He stated that at the time, the 1st and 2nd accused persons were yet to be in detention. “They were detained after visiting the crime scene and after taking all the necessary procedures,” the witness added.

On the issue of an investigation panel that was later set-up, Mr. Dibba said that his supervisor, Commissioner Keita, instructed him to set-up a panel of which he was part. He added that he selected the members of the panel in consultation with his seniors.

“It is correct that before the 20th of July you and your team have not done any investigation in relation to the demise of the said baby,” Lawyer C. Gaye posed, which the witness concurred.

“Is it correct to say the first thing you did in relation to the investigation was to visit the crime scene?” Counsel Gaye asked again.

“We did interact with the accused persons. After they gave the other explanation of the whole scenario, we deemed it necessary to visit the crime scene,” the police investigator said.

The witness further confirmed that on the day of the alleged incident, the accused persons were moving out from their apartment to another apartment, and that other people were involved in the moving, according to what he was told by the accused persons themselves.

“According to them, their agent was part of it. I can’t vividly remember but perhaps the truck driver they have hired and his apprentices,” he said, adding he couldn’t remember whether there was a carpenter as well.

Quizzed as to the meaning of crime reconstruction, the witness said, “As I said earlier, it is to give a real picture of how the incident occurred. He acknowledged that it involves the sequence of events before and after the alleged incident occurred.

The witness also answered he had taken pictures. Defence Lawyer Gaye asked why they were not being brought to the court. “At the crime scene, there is division of labour, and the photos were taken by somebody different from myself,” he responded. He averred that as head of the team, that did not mean he did everything.

“The reflection on the position of the vehicle does not represent the way it was parked on the 3rd of July,” defence lawyer argued.

“No, as per the explanation of the driver of the vehicle at the time of reconstructing the scene, it was exactly where it was parked on the day of the incident,” he said.

The defence counsel then put to the police investigator that their investigation was incomplete and unreliable. However, the witness said that is the take of the counsel, insisting that their investigation was effectively carried out.

The case continues at the court for further hearing.