Gambia: Will there be an Inquest this Time on Another Death in Police Custody?


The Coroner’s Act demands that if a person dies in police or prison custody or in some other circumstances there should be an inquest to inquire into the cause of death. When Lamin Krubally died in police custody just two weeks earlier (12 July) there was no Coroner’s inquest to inquire into the cause of death.

Will the police this time defy the law or will they report the matter to the Chief Justice so that a Coroner will be appointed to inquire into the cause of death in accordance with the Coroner’s Inquest? It does not suffice to say that the cause of death is injury on the head but to further enquire what caused the injury.

A Coroner’s inquest is necessary in a democratic dispensation whenever a detainee or prisoner dies in custody so that we do not rely on the stories of police or prison authorities but on the outcome of an independent judicial inquiry that will look into the totality of all the evidence before it.

Foroyaa will continue to monitor the situation and keep readers up to date.

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Foroyaa Newspaper, 01.08.2017


The answer to this question could be found in the Coroners Act. According to section 6(1) of the Act,

“When any person dies while in the custody of the police or of a prison officer or in prison ….. the police officer or the prison officer or any other person having the custody or charge of the deceased person at the time of his death shall immediately give notice of the death to the nearest Coroner and … such Coroner shall hold an inquiry into the cause of such death……”

Such Coroner shall exercise all the powers conferred by the Criminal Procedure Code upon a magistrate holding a preliminary inquiry.

Section 11 gives the Chief Justice power to order an inquest, direct any inquest to be reopened, quash the verdict in any inquest or quash any inquest.