Former Treasury Director continues testimony in Ousman Badjie’s trial


By Rohey Jadama Mr. Gabriel Mendy, the former Director of National Treasury and firsOusman Badjiet prosecution witness (PW1), continued his evidence in chief in the trial involving Mr. Ousman Badjie, the former Works, Transport and Construction Minister before Simeon A. Abi of the Banjul High Courtyesterday, 4th March, 2015. Mr. Badjie is facing two counts of negligence of duty and one count of economic crime When the case was called, Lamin S. Camara announced his appearance for the defendant, while A.M Yusuf appeared for the state. Continuing his testimony, Mr. Mendy adduced that he did a financial review in 2008 to 2013 in order to establish the closing balance so that Faisal Bojang may take over. He told the court that when he came back from France, he prepared a report for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. At this juncture, he was asked by state counsel Yusuf whether he will be able to recognise the report if shown to him. The witness responded in the positive, adding that his signature was written on it. When he was shown a report, he responded: “I prepared a single report but what I’m seeing is two documents.” Under cross-examination by defence counsel Camara the witness was asked whether he told the court on the 14th of January that the handing over of the Gambia Embassy in Paris was signed by the financial attaché, the deputy head of mission, Mrs. Sock and the accused person. He responded in the positive. ”I’m putting it to you that the accused person never signed that handing over,” said the defence counsel. The witness responded that he did say that in his testimony, but after he went back home he did a research and later found out that the ambassador did not sign it. Asked whether he is familiar with the hierarchy of authority in the foreign embassy in France, the witness responded in the positive. When asked by the defence counsel to tell the court who the financial attaché was answerable to, the witness told the court that technically the financial attaché is answerable to the head of chancery who was responsible for the finances and that in the case of France there was no head of chancery and that it was the deputy head of mission. The witness further told the court that the head of chancery is different from the post of the ambassador. “Do you know who the deputy head of mission was?” enquired the defence. The witness responded in the positive, adding that it was one Mrs. Sock. The witness told the court that he is familiar with some of the Foreign Service regulations but not all of them. Defence counsel Camara asked him whether he is familiar with regulation 0224. Mr. Mendy responded in the positive adding that it concerns the delegation of responsibilities, management and coordination of the day to day activities of the mission delegated to the head of the embassy by the permanent secretary ministry of foreign affairs. The witness was asked who in the hierarchy of Foreign Service has supervisory authority over Faisal Bojang. The witness told the court that according to the Foreign Service regulation it is the head of chancery and that in the case of France there was no head of chancery at the time, so it was the deputy head of mission. Under re-examination by state counsel Yusuf, the witness was asked who the overall head in the embassy was. Defence counsel Camara objected to the question, arguing that the Evidence Act made it clear what question to ask when re-examining a witness. The said question was disallowed by the trial judge. Continuing the re-examination, the state counsel further asked the witness what he meant by “technically.” “Objection my lord the Evidence Act does not allow the explanation of word. Technically means technically and the witness cannot explain its meaning as he is not an expert in English language,” submitted Camara. This question was also disallowed by the trial judge. At this juncture, the case was adjourned to the 10th of March at 2pm for continuation of hearing.]]>