Friday, August 19, 2022

Lawyer Urges Court Not to Accept Audio of Former Fisheries PS as Evidence

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By Mariama Marong

As the trial of Dr. Bamba Banja, a former fisheries permanent secretary continues, his lawyer in the trial, Abdoulie Fatty, on Wednesday, 24 November, 2021 urged the Court not to accept the audio (CV) of his client which went viral, as an evidence in the case. Counsel Fatty made this objection before the presiding judge, Justice Bakre of high Court annex in Banjul.

In this case Lawyer Abdoulie Fatty represented Dr. Banja while the State was represented by Counsels A. A. Cesay and K.Tah.

The objection of Banja’s lawyer came as a result of the application by state lawyer A. A. Ceesay, to tender the viral audio of the witness as an exhibit and evidence in the Court.

In his argument against this application by the state lawyer, defence counsel Fatty told the Court that the audio is not satisfactory to be represented as evidence and it cannot be used as such in a Court of law; that it is not applicable to tender it as exhibit since it is not supported by law, as enshrined in Section 22 of the 1997 Constitution.

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Counsel Fatty said the audio can be faked and that it can be computerized by technology which with might implicate his client.

On his part, counsel Ceesay for the state argued that the audio was a recording that went viral in many social media platforms and can be downloaded by any person; that this is not an evidence that could be kept in a single computer and be manipulated; that many people have the audio in their possesion. He said the Section of the Constitution that defense lawyer counsel relied upon, cannot be applicable is this case; adding that the Section of the Constitution relied upon by the defence counsel, has nothing to do with the case.

In his brief testimony, state witness PW2 Essa Sowe, told the Court that he recognized the audio (CV), when asked by counsel.

The State counsel A. A. Ceesay also applied witness summons against Ismail Demba and Modou Njie, who both refused to appear in the Court as witnesses.

According to Counsel A. A. Ceesay, the two were involved in the negotiation process. State Counsel K. Tah on his part, requested for an adjournment of the case since the witness who is a police officer, is on election duty with the GDC flagbearer Mama Kandeh.

However, counsel A. Fatty objected again, saying that the request made by the prosecution, is not an excuse and the Court  should decide on this.

The case was then adjourned to the 8th of December 2021, at 12noon for continuation of trial.

For the information of the reader, Dr. Bamba Banja is charged with economic crimes contrary to Section  5 (f) of the Constitution; official corruption contrary to Section 86 (a) of the criminal code and public officers recovery property to show favor, by receiving money from proprietor of Golden Lead Company Limited contrary to Section 85 of the criminal code, has committed an offence.

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