Defence takes prosecution witnesses to task

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The defence team on the 13th March, 2019, before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court in Banjul, under cross-examination, took two prosecution witnesses to task in the case involving Yankuba Badjie and other former NIA officers.

Babucarr Mbye Adama Saine was asked by Defence Counsel Fatty to tell the court which social media he saw the publication of Solo Sandeng’s death certificate. In response, he stated that he could not say exactly on the social media he saw the publication.

He was asked who had the death certificate book, and he said that the ward in charge had the custody of the death certificate book. He was also asked who is in charge of the death certificate book to be issued to different wards. He said that the medical unit is responsible for the issuance of the book.

It was put to him that he is not the medical registrar at the hospital, and he answered in the positive. It was also put to him that he said in his evidence-in-chief that it is only the doctor who signs death certificates and not a physician. He replied that it is only a doctor and not a nurse who signs a death certificate.

Asked about the procedure of supervising the issuing of death certificates, he said that the ward in charge should inspect the death certificate book which should reflect the record of the report book. He was asked who the head of the administration is. He said that the overall head of the administration was the Chief Executive Officer.

Defence Counsel Archigbue rose and put it to the witness that he has never seen the original copy of the death certificate, and he responded in the positive, adding that he would not know the person who signed the death certificate book.

He was told that the signature on the death certificate book stated ‘signed for Lamin Sanyang.’ It was then put to him that as an administrator, whoever signed it, did it on behalf of Lamin Sanyang. In response, he said that might not be the case all the time. It was put to him that it might be the case for some time, and he answered in the positive. He confirmed that he had worked with Lamin Lang Sanyang.

Under cross-examination by Defence Counsel Chime, Samuel Ferera, forensic expert, told the court that he collected the saliva and blood samples from Solo Sandeng’s family members. He was asked whether he carried out his experiment in The Gambia. He disclosed that he did it here and carried the samples to Brazil.

He adduced that he worked in The Gambia in June, 2008, noting that he collected samples of human remains. He said further that he met the family of Solo Sandeng and collected their biological samples.

Defence Counsel Archigbue reminded him that he told the court that the collection of samples was an important part of the process. He replied in the positive. “It is also correct that any adulteration of the samples will affect the result,” he told the witness. In his answer, he said not necessarily. He was asked whether it was correct that the scientific conclusion was usually not perfect. He denied it.

 The case continues.   

Author: Dawda Faye