By Louise Jobe
Lawyer Abdul Aziz Bensouda, the lawyer for the CEO of Kerr Fatou on Wednesday cross-examined Samsudeen Phatey, the person who initiated her prosecution.
Phatey is the third prosecution witness in the ongoing private criminal prosecution of Fatou Touray, the Chief Executive Officer of Kerr Fatou media and Fatou Drammeh of Paradise TV for publishing a case before the Brikama Children’s Court without the permission of the court. The case is before Magistrate Peter Ado Che of the Brikama Magistrate’s Court. Both accused persons denied the allegations. Phatey already testified in the case and it was the turn of the defence lawyer (Bensouda) to cross-examine the witness (Phatey).
Counsel Bensuda, the defence lawyer asked the prosecution witness (Phatey) who is the proprietor of Freedom online newspaper and Radio and Phatey answered saying it belong to one Pa Nderry Mba’i. Lawyer Bensouda asked Phatey to confirm to the court whether any of the accused persons has an account at Freedom Newspaper and Radio. Phatey said he does not know adding that Fatou Touray had a live program with Pa Nderry Mbaye of Freedom online newspaper and Radio. Counsel Ismaila Dibba who appeared on behalf of Senior Lawyer Malick H.B. Jallow objected to that question and said that that question should be determined by the court. The objection was sustained and Magistrate Peter Adoh Che asked Lawyer Bensuda to reframe his question.
Lawyer Bensuda told Phatey that the first accused person (Fatou Touray) did not cause in any way or made any disclosure of his son on the social media.
“”I disagree,” replied the witness.
Lawyer Bensouda told Phatey that the 2nd accused person (Fatou Drammeh) did not disclose the identity of his son in social media, but Phatey disagreed with him saying “I strongly disagree with you”.
“I am putting it to you that neither of the accused person have ever disclosed the identity of your son,” Bensouda said, but Phatey maintained his statement that he disagrees with what the lawyer stated.
Lawyer Bensouda told the witness that his prosecution of Neneh J. Thompson have not mentioned any information about his son. At this point, Lawyer Ismaila Dibba interjected and raised an objection on the basis that the question seeks to taint the testimony of the witness. The two began argument and this was when the trial magistrate, Peter Ado Che intervened and asked Lawyer Bensouda to reframe his question.
Counsel Bensouda reframed his question and asked Phatey ‘is it correct that you have issued several warrant arrest against Neneh J. Thompson? Phatey answered saying it was not done in his personal capacity. Phatey said he instituted an action against Neneh J. Thompson at the Brikama Children’s Court.
Bensouda asked him in which capacity did he file the action against Thompson and the witness replied I the positive saying he did that as a father of the child. Phatey explained that the children’s court issued a warrant of arrest against Thompson for violating its orders.
“I am putting it to you the accused person’s were trying to set light to the impunity arrest warrant you put against Neneh J. Thompson,” Bensouda said.
Phatey responded saying “Counsel, I disagree with what you.” Phatey said his son’s photos were all over the social media – it went viral because the campaign of the accused persons. Phatey agreed with Lawyer Bensouda that the two accused persons did not post the pictures of his son on the social, adding it was done by the others whose names were struck out from the charge sheet.
“You will agree that the two accused person have not posted the photos of your son,” Bensouda said.
“Yes, I will agree,” Phatey answered.
“You will agree that they did not post the name of your son on social media,” Bensouda said.
The witness answered saying they shared things that have the name of his son on the social media.
Bensouda asked Phatey to tell the court one thing that the CEO of Kerr Fatou shared on the social media. Phatey answered saying she (Fatou Touray) shared a vedio with Fatou Jarra Suso which was widely shared by many people, adding it contained the name of his son. He added that Fatou Touray re-shared the video on her Facebook page.
The witness disagreed with Counsel Bensouda’s put that none of the two accused persons published any information that identified. Bensouda said the two accused persons are not interested in violating the law, but the witness disagreed.
Magistrate Peter Adoh Che adjourned the case to the 19th January 2023 at 2:30 PM for the virtual hearing to continue.