Teranga FM Manager’s trial: Defence quizzes NIA operative

Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Defence lawyer Combeh Gaye-Coker yesterday quizzed the third prosecution witness (PW3), Lamin Ceesay, a National Intelligence Agency (NIA) operative, in the trial involving Abdoulie Ceesay, the Managing Director of Teranga FM Radio, at the Banjul High Court.

When the case was called before Justice Simeon Ateh Abi, H.S Barkun the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) represented the state, while lawyer Combeh Gaye-Coker appeared for the accused person.

Under cross-examination, Lamin Ceesay told the court he works at the NIA as an investigator and that he previously worked as a police officer at the Gambia police force’s criminal intelligence unit for 20 years.

“Is it correct to say that the only area you worked for is criminal investigations?”

The witness responded in the positive.

“Is it also correct to say that you have no background in Information Technology (IT)?”

“I know how to operate a computer,” answered the witness.

“What professional qualifications do you have in IT?”

“I don’t have any professional qualification in IT, but I can operate it.”

“At the NIA, do you have an IT Department?”

“I don’t know about that.”

“Have a look at exhibit B2 and B2A, you told the court that you printed both exhibits?”


“Where was exhibit B2 printed from?”

“From the phones of the two ladies.”

“What about exhibit B2A?”

“This one is from Zainab Koneh’s phone.”

Asked about the phones of Fatou Drammeh and Zainab Koneh, the witness told the court that he believes they are in the custody of the court.

He further told the court that they only printed the messages from the phones, and returned them back to the duo.

Further asked how he printed exhibit B and B2A, the witness adduced that both phones are Android and their cables were plugged into the computer, downloaded and printed out.

Asked to explain in detail the procedures he used to download and printed exhibit B and B2A, the NIA operative maintained his earlier answer.

“You will agree with me that both exhibits are contained in a special application called ‘WhatsApp’?”

The witness responded in the positive.

“I’m putting it to you that technologically it is impossible to simply put the cable on the computer, download it and print it out?”

“That’s your opinion.”

“You will agree with me that apart from the messages contained in exhibit B and B2A, there were other messages exchanged by the accused and the two ladies via WhatsApp?”

The witness responded in the positive.

“Why was it not downloaded and printed as part of your investigations?”

The witness maintained that he only saw exhibit B and B2A.

“PW2 admitted before this court, and in her statement at the NIA, that she used to chat with the accused person via ‘WhatsApp’ in two accounts?” said counsel.

“That’s her own statement.”

“I put it to you that you are not a witness of truth?”

“I am a very truthful person, and I swore to an oath.”

“Is it correct that Fatou Drammeh (PW2) opened two WhatsApp accounts for the accused person, where messages were exchanged between them?”

“It is possible, but as far as I am concerned I saw only these two exhibits,” responded the NIA operative.

“As an investigative officer, did you verify the fact that these pictures came from Facebook from Fatou Camara’s wall, as stated by the accused in his statement?”

“I verified it, but I don’t know whether the source is Fatou Camara.”

“Ms Camara posted the said pictures in her Facebook wall; you said you verified it. I am putting it to you that she has over 28 thousand followers?”

“The investigators do not care whether she has a million followers; all we’re concerned about was that the pictures were sent to Zainab and she felt threatened.”

“Mr Ceesay, that information you admitted that you verified was public knowledge at the time of your verification?”

“I don’t know.”

At that juncture, the case was adjourned for the hearing to continue today.

Author: Halimatou Ceesay
Source: Picture: Abdoulie Ceesay