21 February 2013

Gambia: Two Sentenced to Death for Murder

The High Court in Banjul yesterday convicted and sentenced two men, namely Saikou Ceesay and Abdou Rahman Bah, to death.

They were found liable for the murder of one Momodou Saidyba, on 25 June 2001 at Kotu Silo in Manjai Kunda in the Kanifing Municipality.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Awa Bah stated that the convicted persons were charged with the offence of murder and conspiracy, and they denied the charges preferred against them.

She said the charged sheet read in court indicated that on 25 June 2001, at Manjai Kunda, Kotu Silo; the convicted persons murdered one Momodou Saidyba, by beating him with sticks.

Justice Bah further stated that the prosecution led evidence through 14 witnesses, and tendered exhibits, including photos of the deceased, while the convicted persons also opened their defence.

Still delivering the judgment, she stated that the convicted persons in their cautionary statements admitted committing the offence, but said the cautionary statements were not voluntarily obtained, adding that the convicts' statements were confessional statements.

There was no doubt that the convicts in their statements stated that they beat the deceased to death, she said, adding that there was evidence that the convicts took the police to the place where the alleged incident took place.

The trial judge further stated that considering the confessional statements, it was in line with the evidence adduced by the prosecution witnesses, and she therefore held that the confessions made by the convicts were voluntary.

Justice Bah added that there was no doubt that the deceased was attacked and beaten by several people, including the convicted persons, and there was evidence that the deceased suffered from bruises, knowing that death was the only probable consequence of the act.

"The convicted persons admitted beating and dumping the deceased at the outskirts of Palma Rima, even though he did not die on that spot," Justice Bah said in her judgment.

"The prosecution had proven its case beyond all reasonable doubts," and she found the convicted persons "guilty as charged," she announced.

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