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Published On: Thu, Jun 13th, 2024

PW4 Testifies He Saw Accused Holding knife & breathing angrily 

In the alleged murder case against Arona Tine at HM Bureau de Change in Westfield, Abdoulie Sillah (PW4), a business man, testified that he saw the accused person holding a knife and breathing angrily.

Before presiding Judge Justice Jaiteh, Abdoulie Sillah (PW4) told the court that he recognized the accused, Arona Tine, from the incident involving the young lady around Alvihag Westfield.

Going into details about what he remembered on that faithful day, Abdoulie recounted that it was on Friday between 1pm to 1:45pm. While inside the Alvihag Supermarket, he heard people shouting outside, highlighting that at the time he was having a business discussion with the Manager of Alvihag. He stated that when he asked what happened, he was told that a lady was stabbed. He expressed that he rushed outside to see a lady on the ground around the bureau de change, and as he drew near to the lady, he saw that she was bleeding.

Counsel A .Gibba then asked the PW4,  following his observation that the young lady was bleeding, what did he see around her. To that, he responded that he saw the accused standing there. He could also remember that lady had a stab wound around her chest, with blood whooshing out. 

When further asked what followed after he saw the accused standing around the lady, he replied that he first went into the Alvihag Supermarket and provide the lady with the orange towel that was used to stop the bleeding on her, adding that he did not even get to pay for the towel. He also told the court that, the accused was still standing about 2 meters from lady, expressing that when he turned to hand over the towel, he realized that the accused was holding a knife. 

Abdoulie Sillah narrated that three young ladies, wearing nurse uniforms, coming from around the Westfield roundabout heading towards serrekunda, helped to carry the stabbed young lady and headed towards Banjul Pharmacy, highlighting that he is not sure as to whether they entered into the pharmacy or not. 

Counsel A. Gibba for the state then told Abdoulie (PW4) that as he indicated he observed the accused standing about 2 meters from the lady holding a knife. Could he tell the court what transpired after he saw the accused holding a knife? Abdoulie responded that after the stabbed lady carried away, there were just young people around as it was Jummah time. He mentioned that he faced the accused person and asked him what happened that led to this, but the accused did not respond. He was still holding the knife and breathing like an angry person.  

Sillah highlighted that the accused took 

took two steps back into the bureau, then stabbed himself on the upper part of his body, from his chest. He also mentioned that he also moved back about three meters to maintain a safe distance from the accused. Sillah explained that he called three Police Officers from Serrekunda because he didn’t want the accused to run. Out of the three that he called, only one female officer from Tippa-Garage responded to his call.

Sillah further explained that as the accused went back into the bureau, he (Abdoulie Sillah) pulled the sliding glass, but since that  was not enough, he had to pull the barricade of the door.  He also mentioned that before the accused, went into the bureau, he threw the knife. Abdoulie told the court that he held onto the barricade of the door from about 1:45 to 2:15. Then the PIU Officers arrived, but he had to warned them to be careful as the accused kept banging himself inside the bureau. He could hear the accused move to the back of the bureau where the toilet is, as he tried to hurt himself more.

When asked that he indicated that he heard the noise outside, what was the proximity between Alvihag and where the lady was lying outside, Sillah replied as he demonstrated in court that it was around from the witness stand to the judge’s chambers. Counsel A.Gibba asked him that when he heard the noise, how long did it take him to go outside, to that he replied that it took him around 2 to 3 minutes. When also asked if there was anything that he knew in this case, that is of relevance, to that he responded that he does not know.

That was all State Counsel A. Gibba had for the witness. Defense Counsel O.Susso started his cross examination by asking Mr Sillah whether it is correct that he was having a business discussion with the Manager of Alvihag when the incident happened. To that, Sillah replied “that is correct”. Counsel O. Susso further asked him if he was also told by people that the lady was alleged stabbed.Sillah responded that people did not tell him that; rather it was the Manager who told him that a lady was stabbed.

Counsel O.Susso asked Sillah,whether the Manager witnessed this alleged stabbing. To that, he responded that he does not know but he was with the Manager in his office. When also asked if he was having a business discussion with the manager of Alvihag when the stabbing happened, he responded that he was with the manager when they heard the noise. The manager went outside to see what happened, then came back to tell him about the stabbing. That was why it took him 2 to 3 minutes to get there.

Mr Sillah was also asked if it is correct that he told the court that when he came out, he saw a lady outside bleeding. To that he responded, “that is correct”. Counsel told the witness, given that he was inside the supermarket, he would not know the events that led to the bleeding. To that, the witness responded that he did not say he saw anyone stab the lady. What he said was he saw the accused standing about 2 meters away from the lady that was on the ground holding a knife. The witness was further told that in his evidence in Chief, he said he accused walked into the bureau. To that, he replied, “that is correct”.

Counsel O.Susso told the witness, therefore, he would agree with him that the accused did not make any attempt to escape. To that, the witness replied, the accuse was not running.

That was all Counsel O.Susso had for the witness. Counsel A.Gibba decided to re-examined Mr Sillah by asking him if the accused was in a position to run. To that,Mr Sillah replied with a no.

Counsel O.susso objected, saying the question is not fit for re-examination. But 

Counsel A.Gibba highlighted that the question was fit for examination since the  issue was raised in Cross-examination. After hearing both arguments, Justice Jaiteh, in his ruling, ruled that the witness was allowed to answer the question.

Counsel A.Gibba proceeded to ask the witness why the accused was not able to run away. The witness replied that at the time, some Gambian boys who worked at the Indian shops around the area come and wanted to attack the accused person, but he refused.

Counsel O. Susso tried to recross-examine the witness, but Justice Jaiteh ruled that the witness had been asked to explain, which he did. Hence,it does not warrant the witness to be reexamined by counsel, as no issues had been raised. Due to those reasons, Counsel O.Susso was not given the opportunity to re-examine the witness, and  witness was hereby discharged. 

Case has been adjourned to the 1st of July 2024 at 12:30 pm for hearing of evidence in Chief of PW5.

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