Briton’s alleged murderers’ trial progresses
Thursday, June 14, 2012
The criminal trial of Michael Ifunaya Churwbiken, Stanley Agbazee Ugochukwu and Collins Chijioke proceeded on Wednesday, June 13th 2012, before the Special Criminal Court in Banjul, presided over by Justice Emmanuel Nkea.
The accused persons are charged with the alleged murder of one Ian Stokes, a British national on or about the 13th May, 2012, at Bakoteh Junction Baa in the Kanifing Municipality. The prosecution, led by State Counsel James Odumi had called five witnesses to testify before the said court when the defence objected to the admissibility of some of the statements made by the accused persons.
The said objection prompted the court to conduct a voire dire (trial within trial) to determine the voluntariness of the said statements of the accused persons. Following the conclusion of the voire dire, the court in its ruling however admitted the said statements of the accused persons in evidence. Meanwhile Defence Counsel Ngozi Gbuji proceeded to cross-examine Lamin Cham, a prosecution witness.
In his testimony, Lamin Cham told the court that the accused persons were arrested a day after the police found the corpse of Ian Stokes (the deceased). He disclosed that the police noticed that the deceased had multiple stabbings and fuel was poured on the body of the deceased and that the police were privy to certain information before they arrested the accused persons.
The witness who admitted recording the statements of the 2nd accused person, Stanly Agbazee Ugochukwu in two different police stations, pointed out that at the time of recording the 2nd accused person’s cautionary statement at the Major Crime Unit, the 1st and 3rd accused persons, Michael and Collins were not present.
The witness concluded his testimony by saying that the 2nd accused person, Stanley Agbazee Ugochukwu gave his statement in the presence of an independent witness. Hearing continues today.
Author: Sidiq Asemota