By: Alieu Jallow
In the ongoing voir dire (mini-trial) regarding the allegations made by defense Counsel Lamin J Darboe, asserting that his client was drugged and beaten to provide a confession and voluntary statement during the investigation.
Police detective Ebou Sowe, of the anti-crime unit, informed the high court, presided over by Justice Ebrima Jaiteh, that the time for the entry of the independent witness (Alieu Cham) was not logged in the anti-crime station diary. The absence of an independent witness during the taking of the voluntary and cautionary statements of the first accused person prompted questions from the first and second defense counsels.
Counsel LK Mboge challenged the witness to either disclose or present to the court the time of entry of the independent witness (Alieu Cham) in the Anti-crime station diary.
“There is no time of entry,” Sowe responded.
This led to inquiries about the connection and purpose of Alieu Cham, the independent witness, at the anti-crime complex, a place Counsel Mboge believed every civilian must be registered upon entry. Detective Sowe emphasized that the independent witness was there to resolve some issues.
“Have you noticed that the cautionary statement obtained on the 14th of September 2023 without an independent witness was the same statement that was transcribed on the 15th of September 2023?” Counsel Mboge asked the witness.
“I have never transcribed any statement,” PW 1 responded.
This prompted the defense counsel to request for the cautionary statement of September 14th, 2023, which had been withdrawn by the prosecution, to be readmitted and marked DV 4. The court granted the application tendered by the 2nd defense counsel.
Subsequently, the independent witness, Alieu Cham, took the witness stand to commence his testimony. The case is adjourned to Monday, September 12th, 2024, at 2:15 PM.