The police and the Crown had several incriminating elements in hand against Mamadi Fara Camara. But they also had many clues to exonerate this Montrealer detained for six days and accused of having tried to kill a police officer, before being released.
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Both the Police Department of the City of Montreal (SPVM) and the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) are being held to account after the fiasco of recent days.
Many cry out for the botched investigation and racial profiling, including the mayoress of Montreal, Valérie Plante, who yesterday declared Mr. Camara “innocent”.
Under pressure, the head of the SPVM, Sylvain Caron, is not ready to exonerate Mr. Camara or to apologize for the moment.
Photo Pierre-Paul Poulin
Mamadi Camara, Wednesday, leaving the Montreal courthouse as a free man.
Who is telling the truth? Was the judicial process well respected?
The Journal spoke yesterday with several well-informed sources on the investigation which allow us to see more clearly the elements that the SPVM and the DPCP had in hand when arresting, imprisoning and then accusing Mr. Camara .
Certain clues, such as numerous testimonies and the discovery of blood on his car, could indeed suggest that Mr. Camara had attacked the police officer.
Several other investigative elements, including imprecise testimonies, raised serious doubts about the relevance of accusing this young Montrealer. His lawyer also points out the absence of proof of DNA or fingerprints.
What tended to incriminate him
Eight witnesses pointed at him
No less than eight witnesses have identified Mamadi Camara with police investigators as the author of the attack, according to our information.
Some blood on his car
According to our sources, the police found traces of blood on the door of Mamadi Camara’s car.
Blood on his front door
Also according to our information, police investigators found traces of blood on the door of the entrance to Mr. Camara’s home.
His behavior during the intervention
Mamadi Camara was very angry when he received his ticket for a cell phone while driving, we have learned. Police found the fully torn statement of offense on the ground near the crime scene.
The testimony of the attacked policeman
From the victim’s perspective, policeman Sanjay Vig, Mamadi Camara was the last person he saw. He had just turned his back on her before being struck by the first blow of a metal bar.
Did he tell the truth?
During his interrogation, Camara would not have told the investigators the whole truth about his schedule in the hours preceding the crime, according to our sources.
What tended to exonerate him
No direct evidence
Police had no direct evidence against him, according to the disclosure his lawyer received on Tuesday. “There are no fingerprints, DNA, gunpowder … We have none of that. There is absolutely nothing which binds Mr. Camara to the offense, ”assures Me Cedric Materne.
When a suspect is charged, the Crown is required to disclose to him all investigative material in its possession.
The real assailant would have fled
Several witnesses told investigators about a man who had gone in pursuit of police officer Sanjay Vig. “We had proof that Mr. Camara had not left the scene,” said his lawyer.
Another man in the video
The images taken by the Department of Transportation cameras on the metropolitan highway are unclear, but major crime investigators found, upon re-examining them, to show another man approaching Sanjay Vig. The police were still looking for this man last night.
Not the profile of a criminal
At first glance, Mamadi Camara is not a criminal who wants to kill a policeman. An engineer by training, he teaches at Polytechnique and has no criminal record.
Its small size
“There are [des témoins] who said he was 5 feet 10 inches, ”says Me Cédric Materne, who is a little taller than his client. “Me, I am 5 feet 7 …”
Black skin … or not?
“Witnesses said that the suspect is black, but some could not specify his skin color,” said Mamadi Camara’s lawyer.
He clamored his innocence
“Mr. Camara from the start he said: ‘You are not looking for me, I called 911!’ », Says Me Cedric Materne.