By Gambian Correspondents – The Basse High Court presided over by Justice Emmmanuel Nkea yesterday convicted and sentenced two police officers to death.
Modou Colley and Bakary Demba, both Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers, were found guilty of beating and torturing one Dembo Sibi, now deceased, which led to his death.
However, two other accused officers, Babucarr Fatty and Babucarr Jobe, who were arraigned together with the convicts, were acquitted and discharged.
In his judgment, Justice Nkea stated that the prosecution had not proved any case against the two police officers, and he consequently acquitted Fatty and Jobe.
Justice Nkea added that the prosecution witness said the two acquitted ‘had no direct involvement’ in the death of Dembo Sibi.
According to Justice Nkea, it was established by the postmortem report that there was use of excessive force on the body of Dembo Sibi, and it was proved that the deceased died as a result of torture.
Justice Nkea further stated that the evidence adduced by the prosecution’s fourth witness proved that the deceased told him prior to his death that he was beaten by the four police officers.
“Taking into account that the duty of a police officer is to protect life, it cannot be accepted that people who are entrusted with the duty to protect life, abused their duty, and go on to cease life,” said the judge.
“The right to life must be protected,” he said, adding that the constitution of the land must be respected by all and sundry.
He said the death sentence should be carried out on the two convicted police officers, who pleaded for mercy as they are both family breadwinners.
Meanwhile, the two officers acquitted were each granted court bail of D500,000 with one surety each in like sum who must prove an affidavit of means.
The bail conditions further stated that they should be reporting to the PIU commissioner at Kanifing station every Friday.
Justice Nkea also ordered that, if they fulfill the bail condition, they should be reinstated.