I will not be intimidated - says Counsel Bensouda

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Amie Bensuda, counsel for the Janneh Commission, yesterday told the commission that she would not be intimidated.

She said this when Mary Samba, counsel for Amadou Samba, told the commission that Amie Bensuda had prepared documents in the transaction of Kairaba Beach Hotel . Mary Samba stated that she had evidence.

Mary Samba raised her concern that the commission’s counsel had asked Mr. Sonko, who was a witness, about her client. She said that the counsel still asked the witness questions about involvement of Mr. Samba in the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel.

She argued that the counsel was there to assist the commission but not to personalise it, adding that the commission was deflating from the facts.

The chairman of the commission intervened and said that one could not come to the commission and make allegations.

Mary Samba then said that the counsel should advise herself whether she should be at the commission.

The chairman then said that the commission could not bar the counsel who has prepared a document for the transaction of the sale of Kairaba Beach Hotel from being at the commission. He said that they had the right to call for any document available. “We will not accept allegations,” he said.

In her response, Amie Bensuda stated that it was her duty to illicit evidence. She further argued that she had never acted for the former president in any activity.

She adduced that she may have prepared documents in the transaction of Kairaba Beach Hotel but she had no personal interest in the transaction.

At this juncture, Amadou Samba was reminded about a transfer of $197,801. He then said that the former president would ask him to seek for quotation, and that the quotation was for two trucks.

He posited that he would make sure that the quotation was in the name of Kanilai Family Farm. He then submitted the bill of laden to the commission.

It was subsequently tendered and admitted in evidence.

Mr. Samba told the commission that the evidence of Mr. Sonko was afterthought, and that Mr. Sonko deviated from his previous evidence. “Sonko manufactured the evidence,” he told the commission.

He was asked whether he was aware of a sale agreement signed by Catherine Tamba which was made available to the commission by Mr. Sonko.

Mr. Samba then had a look at the document and said that he had never seen the document, and that his name was not on the said document. He further stated that Mr. Sonko said earlier that he did not know anything about the document prepared by Edward Gomez, and yet Mr. Sonko had signed it.

He denied that he went with Mr. Sonko to Standard Chartered Bank in the transaction of Kairaba Beach Hotel. He further stated that Baba Jobe was working for the former president, and that he was sure that the hotel was bought on behalf of the former president.

Mr. Samba said that he could assume that the former president got the funds from the Central Bank to buy the hotel.

He was referred to some documents tendered earlier by Mr. Sonko, at this juncture. He said that Mr. Aswanden told him that when a hotel is sold, the stock would not be part of the sale. He testified that he had never met the Kairaba people.

On the Excel Construction Company Ltd., he said that he had 40% share, his son 30% and one Patrick also 30%.

Author: Dawda Faye
Source: Picture: Amie Bensuda