Murder Case Underway

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A High Court in the Western Region of The Gambia is still hearing testimonies in the trial over the alleged murder of a British pensioner in the southern Gambian coastal village of Sanyang.

The alleged killing of William West has apparently sent shock waves through many in Hastings, UK and the British authorities have already sent in forensic experts to this small West African country to probe the circumstances surrounding West’s cruel death.

 Readers may recall that William West’s wife, Kate Atori-West, was arrested in Gambia some two years ago when British authorities raised the alarm. Subsequently, her 65-year-old husband’s charred body was discovered in a bag in his holiday home in Sanyang, several kilometres outside the Gambian capital, Banjul.

Meanwhile the case, which is now a subject of litigation, recently proceeded at the Brikama High Court in Western Region.

On the resumption of the matter, the defence counsel engaged the prosecution witness in a marathon cross-examination.

Under cross-examination, defence counsel Lamin Camara asked the prosecution witness to tell the ‘honourable’ court whether he could see any bloodstains on the pestle with which William West was allegedly battered to death. In reply, the witness admitted that he could not see any bloodstain on the pestle even though Kate had admitted killing Mr. West with the very pestle.

“But you said in your testimony that the accused had used a pestle to kill her husband,” counsel Camara put to the witness. “She said so in her statement,” replied the witness.

“Who recovered the pestle?” asked Camara. “I recovered it in a black bag,” stated the witness.

Still cross-examining the prosecution witness, the defence counsel sought to know where the pestle had been kept before being produced in court as a piece of evidence. “It was kept in my office,” said the witness. “Is it correct that you are not an exhibit keeper,” quizzed the defence counsel. “There is no exhibit keeper. All exhibits are kept in my office,” answered the witness.

The case was, at that juncture, adjourned for continuation.

It would be recollected that Kate Atori-West has been charged with the murder of her late husband by hitting her with a pestle in June of 2006.

Author: By Abdoulie Nyockeh & Fatou Dibba
Source: The Point