By Rohey Jadama The trial of Mr. Ousman Badjie, the erstwhile Works, Transport and Construction Minister, could not proceed before Justice Simon. A. Abi at the Banjul High Court yesterday, 3 March, as the prosecution arrived in court late. Mr. Gabriel Mendy, the former Director of National Treasury, who testified as the first prosecution witness(PW1), was not in court when the case was called.. State counsel A.M. Yusuf intimated to the court that the matter was slated for continuation of hearing but that the witness was on his way coming as he was held up in the traffic. He then applied for stand down which was granted by the court for about 30 minutes. The witness was supposed to be cross-examined by defence counsel Lamin S. Camara. The witness, however, came after the 30 minutes had elapsed and which led both the state and defence counsels to meet in chambers to get the adjourned date. The case, which was adjourned yesterday, continues today at 11am. Mr. Badjie, the former Minister of Works, Transport and Construction, is facing two counts of negligence of duty and one count of economic crime. The particulars of offence on Count One states that Ousman Badjie between 14 and 30 June 2014 in Banjul and diverse places, whilst being The Gambia’s Head of Mission in France, intentionally failed to pursue the case of a stolen Twenty Seven Thousand Euros equivalent to D1, 134,000, involving one Faisal Bojang, with the French Government, an omission which was shown to be detrimental to the economy of The Gambia, and thereby committed an offence. Count Two alleges that whilst serving as the Head of Mission in France, the accused willfully neglected to perform his duty for the French Government to pursue Faisal Bojang, to recover the amount of €27,000 embezzled (equivalent to D1, 134,000). On Count Three, it is alleged that in the same month and year, Mr. Badjie, whilst being The Gambia’s Head of Mission in France, willfully neglected to perform his duty to pursue the police declaration that the signature of the Deputy Head of Mission was forged.]]>
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