Saturday, December 9, 2023

In The NIA 9 Case: PW8 Continues Testimony


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By Rohey Jadama

Mr. Assan Badjie, the eight prosecution witness has continued his testimony in the ongoing trial of Mr. Yankuba Badjie, the erstwhile Director General of the NIA and eight others, before Justice Kumba Sillah- Camara of the Banjul High Court. The accused persons are: Yankuba Badjie, the former Director General Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, Saikou Omar Jeng (alias Sir Jeng), the former director of Operations, Haruna Susso, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe, Baboucarr Sallah, and Lamin Lang Sanyang.

Mr.  Badjie told the court that he was employed at the NIA in 2014, as a driver for the Deputy Director General of the NIA who is also the 2nd accused person in the case, Mr.  Louis Gomez. When asked by Lawyer Lamin S. Camara whether he went home on the 14th April 2016, the witness responded in the positive.

“How did you go home on that night?” enquired Lawyer Camara.

“I drove my boss home that night”, said the witness. The witness was further asked who his boss is. He responded that Mr. Gomez was his boss.

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When asked whether he will be able to recognize his boss if he sees him anywhere, the witness responded in the positive. At this point Barrister Camara, obtained permission from the Court for the witness to step out from the dock and identify him. The witness walked up to the 2nd accused person and shook hands with him. Under cross-examination, Lawyer Christopher Mene, the defence Counsel for the witness, asked whether he watched the content of the recording of exhibit A from the beginning to the end attentively. The witness responded in the positive.

“Is it correct that the number of persons shown in the cassette was closed to twenty?”

“I don’t know the exact number”, responded the witness.

“You said you watched the recording from the beginning to the end. Now it is correct that Yankuba Badjie did not feature or appear in the video?” asked Mene. The witness answered that he did not appear in any video.

“It is also correct that the 1st accused did not appear in the video of the murdering of Solo Sandeng?” asked Mene.

However, Lawyer Camara objected to the question arguing that this was for the Court to determine and not the witness. Responding to the objection of Lawyer Camara, Barrister Mene said there is no doubt that the Court will decide at the end of the trial but that the prosecution has tendered an evidence before the Court. He read count two to the Court adding that the 1st accused was charged with murder. “We all watched the recording to the end. It is for the witness to tell us where the 1st accused is shown doing what he has been alleged”, argued Lawyer Mene. He urge the Court to overrule the objection and allow the witness to answer the question.

In her ruling, Justice Sillah-Camara overruled the objection and the witness was ordered to answer the question. In answering the question, the witness responded in the negative. “Now, does the video show the 1st accused beating anybody?” asked Mene. “No, Sir,’’ responded the witness. “In fact all the accused persons from the 1st to the 9th accused, did anybody feature in that video?” asked Mene. “No, Sir” the witness responded.

Under cross-examination by Lawyer Edward A. Gomez, defence Attorney for the 2nd accused, the witness was reminded that he told the Court that he saw the video recording. “You will agree with me that it did not concern the 2nd accused?” asked Lawyer Gomez. “Yes, Sir” the witness answered.

“Did you see the 2nd accused do anything to anybody harmful?’’ asked Lawyer Gomez.

“No, Sir”, responded the witness.

The case continues today 30th January 2018 at 12 noon, for continuation of cross-examination of PW8.

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