Friday, June 22, 2012

63 year old man died while in state custody

The Voice newspaper understands Pa Lamin Darboe, 63, died on June 16 at the State Central Prison, Mille 2, where he was remanded on allegation of being in possession of 10 kilograms of cannabis.
On Tuesday, his younger brother Kemo Darboe confirmed Pa Darboe’s demise.

Prison officers contact us on Monday to inform us of his death. They said Pa Lamin Darboe was found death in his prison cell, Kemo said, while noting his brother was laid to rest the same day at Old Jeshwang cemetery.

The late Pa Lamin Darboe was arrested and detained together with Alieu Dibba and Musa Touray who were charged with aiding and abetting. The two are still remanded at the prison. The three were being tried at the Kanifing district Magistrates Court, presided by Magistrate Sheriff B. Tabally.

Two days before Pa Darboe’s death, Magistrate Tabally ordered for him to be taken to hospital for medical examination after the accused announced at the court that he was ill.

However, the family said they could not ascertain whether the prison wardens complied with the court order, since they’ve not visited him after the June 14 proceedings.

Meanwhile, Kemo revealed that Prison wardens have asked them whether they would prefer a postmortem to determine the cause of death when they went to see the body at mortuary of the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital.  

 “…but we did not agree to that. The fact that our family member died in custody means there is no need to find out what cause of his death is,” he said, meaning the cause of death of the old man who was living with leprosy can never be known. 

He died on Saturday, and we were only informed on Monday, Kemo said, while arguing that Pa Lamin Darboe and his co-accused spent one year six months in prison following their arrest in January 2011 at Jarkoi Bintang, Foni Bintang district, West Coast Region

Asked to comment on Pa Darboe’s death, the spokesperson of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), Superintendent Abdoulie Ceesay, refer our reporter to the authorities of Gambia Prison Service.

“Anybody at Mile II is under the prison authorities,” he said. “The prison service is the right place to contact.” 

This paper could not however establish contact with the prison service at press time.

Source: The Voice

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