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GAMBIA: BREAKING NEWS: SIX GAMBIAN POLICE OFFICERS STANDING TRIAL ON MURDER CHARGES; REMANDED INTO CUSTODY!

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Six personnel of the police intervention unit have been charged with the murder of three Faraba Banta environmentalists. The accused officers: Baboucarr Cham, Bala Musa M.K Fatty, Mamadou Z Jallow, Alieu Camara, Musa Badjie and Nuha Colley briefly appeared before a Magistrates court in Banjul on Thursday, before they were remanded into cus tody. The accused persons have been remanded at the police headquarters in Banjul, pending further directives about their fate. They are yet to be granted court bail.

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The prosecution’s particulars of offense count one stated: Murder contrary to section 187 and punishable under section 188 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The indictment revealed that on June 18, 2018, the aforementioned accused officers, while at Faraba Banta, within the West Coast Region of the Gambia, with malice aforethought caused the death of Bakary Jarju and thereby committed an offense. Court papers filed by the prosecution also revealed on count two that the accused officers acting with malice aforethought allegedly caused the death of Ebrima Bah. The accused were also linked to the death of Amadou Jallow.

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It is important to note that the original police press release identified the two deceased Faraba residents as Bakary Kujabi, and Ismaila Bah. But going by the charge sheet shared below, Bakary Kujabi has been referred to as Bakary Jarju, while Ismaila Bah, has been referred to Ebrima Bah. The charge sheet appeared to be defective. It doesn’t tally with the police’s original press release on the incident.

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Below is the original police press release on the matter. Compare the charge sheet with the press release. The names and identification of the deceased Faraba residents are not adding up.

Families of the accused PIU officers showed up in court on Thursday, where they hugged each other. The accused persons appeared confused and worried.  The case of the accused officers is expected to be referred to the High Court for prosecution. It was briefly mentioned in court and adjourned.

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At a news conference on Wednesday, acting IGP Momour Jobe told journalists that the accused officers were supposed to appear in court before the end of the week. Jobe briefed reporters about the procedures governing police crowd controlling, and the measures officers should employ in quelling protest marches.

According to Jobe, officers are allowed to use minimum force to disperse protesters. This includes the usage of a baton, and tear gas. He noted that armed rifles can only be used as a last resort, but it is part of the police’s operational crowd controlling mechanism.

Source:  Freedom Newspaper

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