Witness says he delivered gold ornaments to Aisha Fatty

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By Kemeseng Sanneh (Kexx)

Mr. Bocar Dia, a Senegalese goods transporter, has testified in the ongoing case involving Aisha Fatty and Abdoulaye Thiam.

Thiam is claiming the recovery of his monies and other properties he allegedly gave Fatty.

Bocar Dia is the Fifth Witness for Abdoulaye Thiam. Dia claimed that he had delivered two bags of gold ornaments to Aisha Fatty. He added that the gold was from Abdoulaye Thiam. Dia informed the court that he had two engagements with Aisha Fatty.

“Some time ago, Abdoulaye Thiam, assigned me twice to transport gold ornaments and jewellery of various shapes to Gambia. He specifically instructed me to deliver these items to a woman named Aisha Fatty. Mr. Thiam provided me with the necessary details about Aisha Fatty. Upon my arrival in Gambia on both occasions, I contacted her to arrange a meeting at her residence. However, Aisha Fatty suggested that we meet at the hotel where I was staying. I lodged at the YMCA Guest House in Kanifing during both visits. Aisha Fatty arrived with a male companion who was driving the vehicle. On my first visit, I brought two bags of gold jewelry, while the second visit involved a smaller quantity. This is the extent of my knowledge regarding this case,” Dia stated.

During cross-examination, Mr Dia admitted that he was not aware of the exact quantity of gold ornaments and jewelry he handed over to Aisha Fatty. He added that his role was only to handover the gold ornaments to Aisha Fatty.

“Your responsibility was only to come and allegedly hand over those two bags of gold ornaments and jewelry to Aisha Fatty,” Senior Counsel Lamin S. Camara asked.

“Yes, that is all I know. It was just to come and hand them over to her,” Mr. Dia responded.

“It is correct that you do not know the quantity of the bags you allegedly brought?” Counsel LS Camara asked Mr. Dia again. 

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Mr. Dia responded. 

The witness was asked whether the gold ornaments he brought were cleared by the customs office, but Lawyer Lamin Ceesay objected to the question saying if answered, it will likely incriminate the witness.

“My lord, we are objecting to that question. It is my belief that the question is self-incriminatory to the witness. It is the duty of the state to determine whether the gold ornaments/jewelries were cleared at the entry of the Gambia or not,” Counsel Ceesay submitted.

Counsel Lamin S. Camara argued that the case is a civil case and not a criminal one, emphasising that witnesses in civil proceedings can be required to answer questions, even if it is potentially incriminating. 

“The witness is not an accused person. He is a witness. A witness can be compelled to answer any question whether incriminating or not in civil proceedings,” Counsel Camara stated. 

Counsel Camara also highlighted tax implications and public interest surrounding the matter.

“My second point is that the matter has tax implications and it is of public interest,” Counsel L.S. Camara argued. 

Justice Jaiteh adjourned the case to 28 February 2024 to rule on the arguments and for further hearing of the case.