The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, has adjourned the trial of eight police officers accused of the torture and murder of a Nigerian national, Ibrahim Olamilekan Badmus, to April 13, 2020.
The case was adjourned after Forensic Medical Officer, Dr William Marumo, concluded his testimony before the high court judge, Mokhine Mosopa, on Wednesday.
On the day of the incident, (October, 10, 2017), Marumo had been called by the Investigating Officer to the scene in Vanderbijlpark to determine the type of death and to help with preliminary investigations into Badmus’ death.
At the hearing, he told Judge Mosopa that when he arrived at the scene, the environment was hostile and Nigerian nationals there did not want him to examine the body of the deceased, making it hard to determine the time of death.
According to his report presented to the court, it appeared Badmus had been suffocated with a plastic bag which subsequently, made him suffer an absence of oxygen that turned his blood blue.
Dr Marumo also told the court that the deceased had deep abrasions on his hands.
The police officers, however, denied the claims, insisting that Badmus died from a drug overdose after swallowing a number of pills during a raid.
The defense lawyers also told the court that Dr Marumo’s medical report was riddled with discrepancies as it failed to reveal the actual cause of death and prove beyond reasonable doubt that Badmus was suffocated according to some of the witnesses.
The toxicology report which had revealed that no drugs were found on the deceased’s body was also challenged by the defence which said that friends of the accused made an admission in court that Badmus was a weed smoker and therefore, asked the court to set aside the doctor’s report as it was “clearly flawed” since he failed to detect weed in the body of the deceased.
His qualifications also came under the spotlight as the court heard that he was only a medical officer and not a pathologist, neurologist or radiologist and that he struggled to explain why certain parts including the deceased’s brain and cerebellum were not tested while conducting the postmortem.
After listening to the arguments, however, the case was then adjourned till April 13th, 2020.