Monday, May 10, 2021

GT-Bank Robbery Case Proceeds before High Court

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By Yankuba Jallow

The 2014 GT-Bank robbery case involving Ansumana Jarju and Alfusainey Jatta has on Wednesday, 28th April 2021 proceeded before the high court annexe in Banjul.

The two are facing prosecution on two counts; conspiracy to commit felony and robbery contrary to the laws of the Gambia. They both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to the indictment, the two accused persons on or about the 5th September 2014, at Bakau, in the Kanifing Municipality while armed with gun conspired and robbed the Guarantee Trust Bank (Gambia) of the sum of four hundred and ten thousand, one hundred and twenty dalasis (D410,120.00).

Lawyer Kaddijatou Jallow on Wednesday cross-examined the sixth prosecution witness in the case.

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Under cross-examination, the witness said he was enlisted into the Gambia Police Force on the 12th December 2004 and is currently working at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Bakau Police Station.

He said the case was a police case and was reported at the Kairaba Police Station. He added that it was transferred to the National Intelligence Agency. On why the police transferred the case to the NIA, he said the police and the NIA had a cordial relationship.

He explained that he was part of the second team that visited the alleged crime scene – the bank. He said he was part of the panel of investigators that was set-up comprising police and NIA personnel. He added that the panel also included forensic and scientific officers, adding the panel was headed by Foday Conta, a former police inspector and now holding the rank of Assistant Superintendent.

He said they recovered footages from the Closed-circuit television (CCTV), also known as video surveillance showing the 1st Accused Person – Ansumana Jarju. He detailed that the footages showed the vehicle he used to get to the Bank as well as how he entered the bank. He said money was also recovered from the first Accused Person.

“How was the alleged perpetrator dressed?” Lawyer Jallow asked.

“The alleged perpetrator was the first Accused Person, but I cannot remember what he wore,” the witness responded.

Lawyer Jallow pointed out that during his testimony in-chief, the witness said the alleged perpetrator wore mask and the witness answered in the positive.

“Did you see the face of the accused person in the footage?” the Lawyer asked.

“Yes,” the witness answered.

“Will you standby that when the CCTV footage is played in court?” the Lawyer quizzed.

“I don’t now, but before, his face was shown,” the witness answered.

“Was the serial numbers of the recovered money recorded?” the Lawyer asked.

“I can’t recall,” the witness said.

“Did you recover the mask the alleged perpetrator was using?” the Lawyer enquired.

“Yes,” the witness replied.

“Was there any DNA examination conducted to establish ownership?” The Lawyer questioned.

“Not to my knowledge,” the witness reacted.

“I am putting it to you that you were not part of the panel of investigation,” the Lawyer said.

“I was part of the panel,” the witness answered.

“I am putting it to you that the only time you come into contact with the first Accused Person was at the NIA when you tortured him,” the Lawyer said.

“That has never happened,” the witness said.

The case was adjourned to the 12 May 2021 at 10 am for hearing.

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