3 Witnesses Testify in Sankandi FGM CASE

3 Witnesses Testify in Sankandi FGM CASE

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The four-count criminal charge trial involving two women from Kiang Sankandi last Thursday continued before Justice Simeon Abi of the High Court in MansaKonko with the testimonies of three state witnesses.

Sunkaru Darboe and Saffiatou Darboe are on trial before Justice Abi, severally and jointly facing charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, being accomplices to female circumcision and inciting and promoting female circumcision after a five-month-old girl died of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the Kiang West village. They both denied the charges.

Testifying before the court, Lamin Kujabi identified himself as a police officer attached to  Bwiam Police Station.

He said the case against the two accused persons was reported at the Bwiam Police Station which led to their arrest. He said they were later taken to the police headquarters in Banjul for further investigation.

Saikou B Bojang, another witness also identified himself as a police officer attached to the Gender and Child Protection Unit at the police headquarters in Banjul. He told the court that he took the cautionary and the voluntary statements from the accused persons on March 8, 2016.

The witness identified the statements when they were shown to him by the state counsel and confirmed his signatures on them before they were marked as exhibits.

Another witness, Faba Fadera also told the court  that he is a state registered nurse. He said he was on duty on 7th March 2016 at Sulayman Junkung Hospital in Bwiam when the report came in.  “On that day we received a referral case involving a child. I conducted the medical examination on the child from head to toe. During the medical examination I observed that the child was not breathing and I also observed that there was no pulse and the temperature too could not be read by the thermometer,” he told the court.

Fadera said he also observed a genital cutting with blood clot on the virginal area of the child. He said after those observations, he called a female gynaecologist to see, and she confirmed that the cutting on the corpse is a sign of circumcision on the genital area of the child. “She also confirmed that the child was already dead. I informed the senior nurse and Ngaga Sarr, acting administrator of Sulayman Junkung General Hospital about it, and he advised that the case should be forwarded to the Police.”

State Counsel Abdurrahman Bah then told the court that the prosecution has three more witness to call and applied for an adjournment to bring those witnesses.

The prosecution alleges that Sunkaru and Saffiatou, on or about 27th February, 2016 at Sankandi village in Kiang West, conspired among themselves and took one Aminata Drammeh, a five-month-old baby to one Isatou Camara for the purpose of conducting Female Genital Mutilation on her, which later resulted to her death.

The first accused person, Sunkaru Darboe, is also charged for taking her five-month-old granddaughter, Aminata Drammeh, to one Isatou Camara on the same day for the purpose of conducting Female Genital Mutilation on her, which later resulted to her death.

Sunkaru Darboe is further charged for requesting, inciting and promoting female circumcision by taking her granddaughter, Aminata Drammeh, to Isatou Camara to be circumcised, which she performed resulting to the child’s death.

On count four of the charges, the second accused person, Saffiatou Darboe, is charged for knowing that female circumcision was taking place and failed to inform the authorities concerned on or about 27th February, 2016 at Sankandi village in Kiang West.

The presiding judge adjourned the case to 27th and 28th July for continuation.

by Salifu M .Touray in LRR