You are here to tell the truth says Counsel Bensouda

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Counsel Bensouda at the Janneh Commission yesterday told Bala Jassey, the chief executive officer of Mobicell Company, that he was at the commission to tell the truth. He reappeared in connection to the Gamtel gateway contracts  among other related matters.

It was put to him by Counsel Bensouda that a letter dated 3 February, 2014, was written to him by one Muhammed Lamin Jaiteh from the office of the former president, and the said letter was shown to him, which he confirmed.

After going through the letter, he stated that according to the said letter, a proposal he made would never happen, adding that he submitted a proposal to the tune of $995,000, He noted that he spoke to the former first lady in French through Saul Badjie’s phone, adding that he did not know why the former first lady spoke to him in French while he was in Dakar, Senegal.

Mr. Jassey confirmed that he had worked at the office of the former first lady. At this juncture, a letter written by the then Gamtel MD, Baboucarr Sanyang, was shown to him. He had looked at the said letter, and confirmed it.

He also confirmed working at the state house in 2012, and there was a letter indicating that they did some work at state house to the tune of $316,469, adding that in the same year he never had any connection with General Saul Badjie, and that his interaction with Saul Badjie was on instructions.

At this point, Counsel Bensouda reminded him that he had a contract with the former government and there were documents showing payments relating to the contract .In response, he said those were payments made to him for the second phase of the contract.

When further put to him by Counsel Bensouda that he was instrumental in connecting MGI to The Gambia , he replied that he never had specific meeting  with any secretary general .

Bensouda further put it to him that Njogu Bah said in his evidence that he, Jassey, accompanied MGI representatives to Kanilai. In response, he said a letter was written to MGI office for him to attend the meeting in Kanilai but he never attended it.

Counsel Bensouda further asked him whether he knew that MGI wanted to manage the international gateway, and what effort did he make to help them. Answering to the question, he said MGI was directly dealing with the office of the former president.

Counsel Bensouda again asked him whether he got a certificate from GIEPA, he said he did not. He stated that he never bid for any contract at the office of the former president and Gamtel.

At this juncture, he was shown documents indicating some payments to the tune of D461, 680 from the tax recovery account, which he confirmed.

He told the commission that he worked at the National Assembly, and confirmed that the said contract was awarded by Baboucarr Sanyang, the then MD of Gamtel. He testified that the National Assembly did not award him any contract.

At this juncture, Bensouda put it to him that the sum of $585,804 was the cost of the contract and Gamtel paid him more than the said amount, and was again put to him that he charged $35,000 for default payment. He replied in the negative.

At this juncture, he was shown a set of documents and was put to him that he also charged $35,687 which he said was currency loss, but he denied this.

Further testifying, he told the commission that there was a letter showing the reason for the payment of $35,000, adding that the said amount was not for a penalty.

Mr Jassey revealed that he had several meetings at the NA before and after the contract and was invited by the NA and Gamtel, noting that he never communicated directly with the NA.

He also told the commission that he had the said contract to provide the maintenance services for the NA. At this juncture, Counsel Bensouda put it to him that there was no contract between him and the NA, and he confirmed it.

Again, Counsel Bensouda put it to him that the NA did not sign a document they sent to the NA because the NA said they had no connection with his company. In response, he said they did not send a contract to the NA, noting that when Gamtel said they could not support the system; that was when they sent a contract to the NA.

Counsel Bensouda put it to him further that he performed a contract for MGI. In response, he said he carried out ICT projects for MGI. He further told the commission that they replaced the router at Gamtel on behalf of MGI, further stating that he could not tell the commission the total cost for the ICT projects but they summarised the payments.

Mr. Jassey testified that he did not do additional work at the office of the former president.

At this juncture, documents relating to the projects carried out on behalf of MGI and other relevant documents were tendered and admitted in evidence.

Hearing continues today.

Author: Dawda Faye