By Landing Ceesay
The second and third Prosecution Witnesses (PW2) and (PW3) earlier Wednesday gave their testimonies in the case of the State Vs Sainabou Mbye and 2 others.
The Prosecution Witnesses were Samba Mballow (PW2) and Jally M.I Senghore (PW3) all from the Gambia Police Force Serious Crime Unit at the Police Headquarters in Banjul.
In giving his testimony, Samba Mballow (PW2) told the court how he obtained the cautionary and voluntary statements of Kibili from 20th – 22nd July 2022 at the Police Headquarters in Banjul.
He said the statements taken before an independent witness were endorsed by both the witness and Kibili.
PW2 told the court that he read the cautionary warnings to Kibili in Fula that he needed not to say anything and that anything he said will be written down and may be used in the court of law as evidence.
PW2 further told the court that he obtained Kibili’s statements in Fula because he (Kibili) speaks the Fula Language.
During cross-examination, PW2 said Kibili (3rd accused) did not tell him that he would prefer to give his testimony in Serahule.
However, before the start of the hearing on 4th October, 2022, Kibili told the court that he would prefer to speak in Serahule because he is from that tribe.
The Court then provided a Serahule Interpreter for him (3rd accused) for the interpretation of the proceedings in Serahule.
Counsel Twum, one of the lawyers for the 2nd and 3rd accused put it to PW2 that the 3rd accused preferred to give his testimony in Serahule, but he was denied by PW2.
On the issue of the independent witness in the taking of Kibili’s statements, Counsel Twum said the independent witness is a friend to the police who has been offering himself as an independent witness.
In response to the defence counsel, PW2 said he is not aware of that and had never met the independent witness before, who was brought to him by his supervisor.
Meanwhile, ASP Jally M. I Senghore (PW3), told the court that Cherno Mbye’s (2nd accused) cautionary and voluntary statements were obtained by him at the Police Headquarters.
Like the PW2, ASP Senghore said he brought in an independent witness before, obtaining Cherno Mbye’s (2nd accused) statements.
He said both the cautionary and voluntary statements were endorsed by the 2nd accused as well as the independent witness.
PW3 informed the court that he was part of the investigators who visited the crime scene in Brusubi.
PW3 told the court that when they (investigators) reached the crime scene, the first thing they did was to position the vehicle exactly it was.
He further told the court that they met one of the neighbours of the accused persons whom they interacted with.
During cross-examination, PW3 told the court whom the investigators were including himself (Jally M.I Senghore), and that the investigation team was led by ASP Bakary Dibba.
Asked which language did he speak with the 2nd accused while obtaining his statements, PW3 said he spoke in both English and Wollof Languages to the 2nd accused (Cherno Mbye).
The defence counsel put it to him that their investigation was not “independent and it’s not reliable”.
“My lord, our investigation is as independent as the word independent,” PW3 responded to the defence counsel.
The ex-wife of remanded Bob Keita Sainabou Mbye (1st accused), Cherno Mbye (2nd accused), and Kibili Dambelly (3rd accused), are charged with manslaughter, contrary to section 186 of Criminal Code Cap: 10.01 Vol.III, Laws of the Gambia 2009.
The particulars of the offence stated that Sainabou Mbye, Cherno Mbye, and Kibili Dambelly, on or about 3rd July 2022, at Kanifing and diverse places in The Gambia, by unlawful act, or omission, amounting to culpable negligence, left a two-year-old boy resident of Brusubi inside a car, which caused his death, thereby committed an offence.
The lawyers representing the state are M.B Sowe, F. Drammeh and M. Said I; while I. Drammeh is representing the 1st accused person, and C. Gaye is representing the 2nd and 3rd accused persons.
The case continues on Thursday for the hearing of Prosecution Witnesses.