Friday, December 9

Defence Lawyer in Murder Case of Former National Audit Staff Objects Voluntary Statement Presented in Court

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Lawyer Omar Suso, representing accused persons, Hadim Jeng, Muhammed Njie, and Muhammed Touray plus the fourth accused person’s name withheld presently at large, in the murder case of late Ousman Jarju, a former staff of the National Audit Office, on Monday objected to the cautionary and the voluntary statements that were presented in court by the 5th witness, corporal Lamin S. Manneh of Kotu Police Station.

Lawyer Suso`s objection came after the Police witness Corporal Manneh affirmed his signature on the cautionary and voluntary statements presented before the court. 

Corporal Manneh said, the cautionary and voluntary statements of Hadim Jeng were taken on the 10th of September 2021, while Muhammed Touray`s voluntary and cautionary statement was taken on the 12th of September 2021. 

“Our objection of the first accused person is that at the time of obtaining his statements, he did not comply with section 33 of the evidence act 1994.

The essence of our objection is based on the fact that the statement sought to be tendered was not obtained voluntarily,” Lawyer Suso pointed out.

He further argued that the first accused person, HadimJeng, told him that he was tortured by the 5th witness Lamin S Manneh while he was taking his statement at the Kotu Police station.  

“The same goes for Muhammed Touray the 3rd accuse person arguing that at the time of obtaining his voluntary statements under section 33 of the evidence act was not complied, as he was tortured at the time his statements were taken,” he told the court. 

Corporal Lamin S Manneh while giving his evidence in the murder case of late Ousman Jarju who was robbed and killed on the 8th of September 2021 said, he was on duty on the 8th of September 2021 when he received a case of Fatoumatta Danso who is said to have been the girlfriend of the deceased. 

Corporal Manneh told the court that, the decease (Ousman Jarju) together with Fatoumatta Danso was on the beach on the 8th of September when Hadim Jeng, Muhammed Njie, and Muhammed Touray together with the fourth accused person who is currently at large agreed among themselves to attack Ousman Jarju and Fatoumatta Danso, a Corporal.

He continued that, when Fatoumatta saw Hadim with the knife she ran away, and the other boys with Hadim decided to run away with her bag. While Fatoumatta tried to escape, Ousman was confronted by Hadim who stabbed him with a knife on his left arm causing his death and ran away with his bag, he narrated to the court. 

Lawyer Suso appealed that the presiding judge Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court continues the matter today to allow the court to determine whether the accused statements were voluntarily taken or not, but the State Council, Patrice Gomez stood and objected to the application saying for the court to determine either the statement were voluntarily taken or not with an allegation of torture the witness need to be prepared. Therefore, applies for time from the court for the matter to be adjourned as they prepare their witnesses. 

The Judge agreed considering the content of the allegation and adjourned the case to Monday 28th November 2022 at 1:00 pm for the court to hear from witnesses on whether the accused statements were voluntarily taken or not. 

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