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Published On: Tue, Jun 11th, 2024

PW12 Testifies in Alleged Murder Trial of Ousainou & Amie Bojang

PW12, Bubacarr Bah, a resident of Nema Su Layout Sukuta, is a military officer with the rank of Major at the Gambia Armed Forces, Currently, working at the defense headquarters in Banjul under the directorate of Military Operations as a staff officer, testified in the alleged murder trial of State vs. Ousainou and Amie Bojang.

Bubacarr Darboe who is also a specialist in arms, ammunitions and explosions, tasked to conduct ballistic examinations and reporting on all arms,ammunitions and explosions reported for the Gambia armed forces and security of the Gambia.

He told the court that as a specialist of arms, ammunitions and explosions he had conducted series of ballistic examinations in 2023, 2024 as he highlighted that he had recalled conducting a ballistic examination for the Gambia police force in the month of September 2023.

He stated that in the month of September, they had received a ballistic request from the Gambia police force dated 27th September 2023 to conduct a ballistic examination on a small arm called a pistol. Adding that before that there was an earlier request to conduct a ballistic examinations on 4 small pistol ammunitions. He highlighted that 3 of the small ammunitions were fired from a weapon while the last 1 was a live bullet not fired.

He (PW12) further explained that the request of the 27th of September 2023 from the Gambia police force was connected to the earlier ballistic request on the small ammunition pistol bullets. He recalled that he had prepared an earlier report on the bullets and now a ballistic examination on the bullets and pistol.highlighting that the new report dated and signed on the 10th off October 2023 was sent back to the police.

When asked by DPP AM Yusuf who signed those reports he replied that there were 2
signatures and as he was out of the office, his junior called Major Ambruce Dacosta signed the report. Whereas the covering letter sending the report to the police was signed by Lut.Col Yorro Jallow. He expressed that when he came back to the office, since it was his responsibility he checked the reports and made a signature also for his records.

When asked if he would be able to recognize the document dated 10th October 2023 and how, he replied that he replied that through the request reference number by the Gambia police force and the content of the report plus the signature.

The document was then given to him for identification and he identified it as
DPP applied to tender in the ballistic examination report dated 10th October 2023.

1st Defense Counsel J Darboe objected and highlighted that PW12 was not the author of the report nor had he signed the report. He further stated that no one signed the report on his behalf as he expressed that the author of the report can come and tender in the report himself. “The author of the report was Major A Dacosta a ballistic officer. Nothing was given as to why Dacosta could not tender in the document himself. “ he said

Counsel J Darboe further urged the court to reject the document and marked it as rejected. As he cited that PW12 signed a report which is different from the report dated 10th October 2023. Highlighting that he should tender in the report he signed himself and not one signed by another officer.

2nd Defense Counsel O Sillah also objected and associated himself with Counsel Darboe on the terms that the said document highlights that the author of the document is not before the court with no reason or foundation as to why he is not before the court. Additionally the entirety of the ballistic was signed by one A. Dacosta who is not also before the court with no reasons why he is not before the court to have the document tendered through him.

He also applied for the document to be rejected and marked as rejected.

DPP in response highlighted that in regards to admissions that should be taken after and not during the receiving of documents.
He also stated that the document was prepared by the witness and because he was not in office, his colleague A Dacosta signed the report in his place. Further he stated that it was an evidence before the court that PW12 signed subsequently for his own records.

DPP argued that the evidence being tendered in court was authored and signed by the witness as it was the same document that the witness identified as the report he prepared the ballistic examination for the pistol and 4 ammunitions on.

“For the record there is nothing contrary to the evidence of the witness as per section 3 of the evidence act the document sought to be tendered are relevant in this trial. With regards to the 2 signatures on the document as highlighted by counsel to the 2nd accused, it is evident that PW12 prepared the document and a cover letter was signed by Yerro Jallow and sent to the police. There is nothing like 2 signatories to the report .” DPP said.

DPP Urged the court to disregard the objection of the counsels and admit the documents into evidence as it is in the interest of Justice no technicalities should be allowed to override the interest of Justice.

1st Defense Counsel on point of law, asked to be provided with the document as they do not have a copy of the document.

Justice Jaiteh in his ruling, highlighted that he heard both arguments of the counsel. He stated that he had looked at document and confirmed that the document to be tendered was signed by PW12 a ballistic officer. He admitted the document dated 10th October 2023 as Exhibit P29 as it is in relation to the bullets and pistol that was admitted into evidence hence the report is relevant in the trial.

DPP gave the pistol and ammunition to the witness for identification to which he did. When asked about the condition of the
pistol when it was presented to him to which he replied that It was brought in dismantled into pieces, and after conducting the examination they combined it to become one piece.

That was all DPP had for the witness. Counsel J Darboe commence his cross examination and asked the witness how
many pieces was the pistol when it was brought to him to that he replied that it can said that it was in 2 or 3 pieces.

The case was adjourned to 11th June 2024 at 12noon.

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