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Prosecution Presents Ballistic Report In Ousainou Bojang’s Murder Trial

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Ousainou Bojang, Alleged Cop killer

By Landing Ceesay 

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), A.M. Yusuf, has presented the ballistic examination report of four bullets in the murder trial of Ousainou Bojang (1st accused) and Amie Bojang (2nd accused).

Ousainou Bojang faces six charges, including the murder of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers. His sister, Amie Bojang, is charged as an accessory after the fact of murder.

The twelfth prosecution witness, Major Bubacarr Bah of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), testified in court. Major Bah, who works at the Defence Headquarters in Banjul under the Directorate of Military Operations, is a specialist in arms, ammunition, and explosives, and conducts ballistic examinations for the GAF and Gambian security services.

DPP Yusuf questioned Major Bah about his ballistic examinations in September and October 2023. Major Bah confirmed conducting multiple examinations during that period and even on the day of the trial.

“As a specialist in Arms, ammunition and explosives, can you recall conducting any ballistic examination within the months of September and October 2023” DPP Yusuf asked Major Bah. 

“Yes, I conducted a series of ballistic examinations in 2023 as well as 2024 and even today I conducted a ballistic examination,” Major told the court. 

When DPP Yusuf asked Major Bah whether he could recall, specifically in the month of September 2023, conducting any ballistic examination for the Gambia Police Force (GPF), Major Bah responded affirmatively. 

“In the month of September 2023, we received a ballistic request from the Gambia Police Force dated 27th of September 2023 to conduct a ballistic examination on a small-arm pistol. Before that, there was an earlier request to conduct a ballistic examination on four small pistol ammunition. 

“Three of the small pistol ammunition were fired from a weapon, and one was a live bullet and was not fired. The request of the 27th September 2023, from the Gambia Police Force, was connected to the earlier ballistic request. The new report, dated and signed on the 10th of October 2023, was sent back to the police,” Major Bah testified. 

When asked who signed the report, Major Bah told the court that it was signed by his superior, Lieutenant Colonel Yero Jallow, as well as his junior, Major Ambrose Dacosta. 

Major Bah explained that his junior signed the report because he was out of the office at the time.

“You will find that there are two signatories on the report. Because I was out of the office, the report was signed by my junior, called Major Ambrose Dacosta. The covering letter, sending the report to the police, was signed by Lieutenant Colonel Yero Jallow. So when I came back to the office, since it’s my responsibility, I cross-checked the report and signed the report for my records,” Major Bah told the court. 

DPP Yusuf asked him if he could recognize the ballistic examination report if shown, and he confirmed that he could.

Major Bah stated that he could identify the report by the reference number provided by the Gambia Police Force, the content, and the signatures.

The ballistic examination report was then presented to Major Bah for identification, and he verified to the court that it was the report prepared after the ballistic examination.

DPP Yusuf then moved to submit the ballistic examination report as evidence for the prosecution.

However, Counsel Lamin J. Darboe, representing Ousainou Bojang (the first accused), objected to its admissibility.

Counsel LJ Darboe argued that the prosecution had not established a foundation for admitting the ballistic examination report.

“My lord, PW12 (Major Bah) is not the author of this report. He did not sign the report, and it was not signed by anybody on his behalf. My lord, no foundation was laid as to why, the author of the report Major Ambrose Dacosta a ballistic officer was not here to tender this report by himself. My lord, under this circumstance, I urge the court to reject this document and mark it as rejected,” Counsel LJ Darboe submitted. 

Counsel LJ Darboe argued that Major Bah signed a report different from the one dated October 10, 2023.

Darboe insisted that Major Bah should present the report he signed personally, not one signed by another officer.

Counsel A. Sillah, representing Amie Bojang (2nd accused), supported Darboe’s submission.

Sillah presented a ballistic examination report signed by Lieutenant Colonel Yerro Jallow, noting that no explanation was provided for the absence of the report’s signatories in court.

Responding to the defense counsels, DPP Yusuf stated that Major Bah prepared the ballistic examination report.

DPP Yusuf explained that Major Ambrose Decosta signed the report on behalf of Major Bah during his absence.

He further stated that the report was also signed by Lieutenant Colonel Yerro Jallow.

“The evidence we have before the court is that the ballistic examination report was authored and signed by the witness (Major Bah). This is the document the witness identified as the report of a ballistic examination for the pistol and the 4 ammunition. There is nothing contrary to the evidence of the witness as per section 3 of the Evidence Act, and the document sought to be tendered is relevant in the trial.

“My lord, the document speaks for itself. PW12 (Major Bah) prepared the report and a forwarding letter was signed by Lieutenant Colonel Yerro Jallow and sent to the inspector General of Police. My lord, it is our submission for the court to disregard the application of the defence. This is a court of justice and no technicality should override the interest of justice,” DPP Yusuf submitted. 

In his ruling, Hon. Justice Ebrima Jaiteh overruled the objections raised by Counsel LJ Darboe and Counsel A. Sillah. He then admitted the ballistic examination report into evidence, designating it as exhibit P29.

Following this ruling, DPP Yusuf inquired if Major Bah could identify the pistol he had examined. Major Bah affirmed that he could.

The pistol was presented to Major Bah for identification, and he confirmed to the court that it was the same pistol on which he had conducted the ballistic examination and prepared the report.

“The four ammunition you conducted a ballistic examination on and prepared a report, would you recognise them if you see them?” DPP Yusuf asked. 

“Yes,” Major Bah responded. 

The four ammunition were handed over to Major Bah for identification, and he confirmed to the court that those were the ammunition he conducted a ballistic examination on and prepared a report. 

 “They are the same Ammunition I conducted the ballistic examination on and prepared a report,” Major Bah testified. 

“Can you recall the condition of how the pistol was presented to you?” DPP Yusuf asked.

“Yes, I can recall how it was presented to me. It was brought to me disassembled or dismantled into pieces. After conducting the ballistic examination, then I assembled it,” Major Bah told the court. 

Under cross-examination, Major Bah told the court that the pistol was dismantled into either two or three pieces. 

“We can say is two, we can say is three,” Major Bah told the court. 

Hon. Justice Jaiteh then adjourned the case to Tuesday for continuation. 

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