Monday, June 17, 2024

Police Witness Testifies As Lama’s Alleged Killer Pleads Not Guilty

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By: Ousman Saidykhan

Murder Trial involving one Kumba Sinyan begins at the Banjul High Court as the first witness, a police Deputy Superintendent testifies shortly after the accused pleaded not guilty to murder charge read before her in Wollof language on Wednesday, 16th November 2022.

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Kumba is alleged to have killed one Lamarana Jallow, 25, who was said to have been her boyfriend, at Friendship Hotel in Bakau on September 14th, 2022.

The first witness for the prosecution, Deputy Superintendent Foday Conta testified that he got a call from one of his juniors that there was a murder incident at Bakau Friendship Hotel on 14 of September at around 03:15am.

He narrated setting off with his men to the hotel where the receptionist explained to him what happened.

“She took us to Room 111 of the hotel. We opened the door and saw a motionless body on the floor in pool of blood,” Deputy Superintendent Conta testified.

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The witness told the court that he called a CR officer who led them in the collection of evidence where that found a wallet containing the deceased’s Visa Card, Cigarette, detached shaving stick and a pillow on his stomach.

“We removed the pillow and the intestines were out. He was half-dressed. There was a cloth we saw. We tried to figure out who might be responsible. The first thing that came to my mind was to look into the CCTV. I asked the receptionist, unfortunately, it was not functioning,” Mr Conta narrated.

The witness continued that he called the receptionists to have a face-to-face with them but one volunteered to say that he knew the killer.

“He said he knew who killed Lama, and that her name is Kumba Sinyan who lives in Bakau. I said do you know what you’re saying. He said, yes, I know her,” the witness said.

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He narrated that they set out to locate Kumba, and that the man who told them he knew her, gave them the compound’s location.

Foday Conta told the court that he instructed his men to surround the compound and that he knocked the door, identified himself as a police officer and asked for Kumba Sinyan.

“They pointed at her house to me. As I approached her house, I saw someone coming and I called ‘Kumba,’ she said yes. I said you’re under arrest. She said, for what? I told her when we get to the station you will know,” the witness testified.

He said they took her to the hotel first before the police station; but took her phone from her and saw Lama on the call log after going through the phone. “We knew she must be connected to the incident, somehow.”

“I was holding her hands as we went to the hotel. Immediately we got at Room 111, she started trembling. When I opened the door, I confronted Kumba with the body. She said my ‘boyfriend! I asked do you know him? She said ‘yes, Lama,'” Mr Conta testified in court.

He said the accused became cautioned when he asked her how she knew it was Lama even though the deceased’s body was about three meters away and was facing the other direction.

“She said can I touch him for the last time? I said you will have time to touch him later,” witness said.

He said they moved to Bakau Police Station where they open a case file and sent it to Serious Crimes Unit for further investigation.

The matter was adjourned to Friday, 18th of November for cross-examined of the first prosecution witness.

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