Gambia: Muhammed Carew Opens His Defence

Mohammed Carew, Tuesday, June 12th 2012, opened his defence in the ongoing criminal trial involving the state against him and Modou Jaw, before the High Court in Banjul, presided over by Justice Abdulahi Mikailu.

The accused persons Mohammed Carew and Modou Jaw are standing trial on four-count indictment of robbery with violence, conspiracy to murder, attempt to murder and conspiracy to commit felony contrary to the Laws of The Gambia.

The particulars of offence stated amongst others that the accused persons conspired to rob, kill, attempted to cause the death of Farid Bensouda and robbed with whilst armed with offensive weapons of his LG mobile phone and Africell sim card number 7760071 after subjecting him to severe stabs, wounds and fractures on the 21st April 2012 at Kerr Serign in the Kombo North District of West Coast Region.

The accused Mohammed Carew, who opened his defence yesterday denied all the four charges, adduced that he is a resident of Sanchaba Sulay Jobe, a professional cook who once worked with the alleged victim Farid Bensouda as a cook. The accused said he knows the 2nd accused Modou Jaw and the alleged victim.

The accused testified that it was one Saturday when the alleged victim Farid Bensouda met him at his place of work (Choossan Restaurant) and after having a chat with him, the alleged victim asked him to visit him at his residence and to collect some money meant for the job he once did for him. The accused told the court that he promised Bensouda that he would visit him when he is off duty.

D-Day

According to the 1st accused Mohammed Carew on the particular Saturday 21st April 2012, he waited until 10:00pm after watching the TV news, he left for Bensouda's residence but on his way to his residence he met the 2nd accused Modou Jaw whom he asked to accompany him to the alleged victim's residence.

The accused testified that upon arrival at Bensouda's compound gate, he contacted him by using the doorbell. He narrated that Bensouda came out and opened the gate and as he saw they were two, Bensouda requested that the 2nd accused wait for him outside the compound and he went inside with him (Bensouda).

According to the accused, upon arrival at the sitting room, they began chatting and as he asked the alleged victim to give him the said money he had promised to give him, the alleged victim held his hands and requested to have sexual intercourse with him.

The accused told the court that he refused but Bensouda insisted in having relation with him and as he attempted to kiss him, he pushed him and struggle ensued, the alleged victim jumped on him and he lost two of his teeth and sustained injury in his left hand index finger.

At this point, defence counsel Ngozi Gbuji asked the accused to show the court part of his mouth and his left index finger, which he did accordingly. Continuing his evidence, the accused revealed that when he realized that he had lost two of his teeth, he pushed Bensouda and he fell down, adding that he then admonished him that he was going to report him to the police.

He further revealed that Bensouda begged him that he has no money on him at the time and pleaded with him to take his mobile phone. The accused said as he was in severe pain, he left Bensouda's residence but as he opened the gate, he met the 2nd accused who assisted him and took him home.

According to the accused, the following morning he noticed that all his face was swollen. The accused said the police apprehended him because he did not switch off the mobile phone and did not remove the sim card from the phone.

According to the accused, the time he visited Bensouda, he had nothing with him and he was not made to go to his house without Bensouda's authority because Bensouda has sevendogs in his compound. The accused however denied using three screwdrivers (exhibit D1 to D3) to stab and inflict injuries on Bensouda, adding that the said screwdrivers belong to one Ebrima Nying, his cousin and a technician who works at Sunu Kerr.

The accused told the court that he saw the rope (exhibit E) which was alleged to have been used to tie Bensouda and dumped him after killing him for the first time at the police station. Given the photographs of Bensouda showing the injuries on Bensouda, he explained that he could recapitulate pushing Bensouda when he had attempted to have sexual relation with him, adding that Bensouda fell on the ground.

The accused clarified that the 2nd accused Modou Jaw never entered Bensouda's compound and maintained that it was Bensouda who gave the said LG mobile phone to him and begged him not to report his ordeal to the police. Hearing continues.

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