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Babylon 28 trial resumes

Jan 29, 2010, 9:21 AM | Article By: Yai Dibba

The criminal trial of the Babylon 28, accused of arson, wilful damage to property, going armed in public and conspiracy, recently resumed at the Brikama Magistrates' Court with the testimony of three prosecution witnesses. 

Continuing his testimony under cross-examination, Mr. Manga,  the sixth prosecution witness, was asked by defence counsel H. Gaye whether he had a compound in Babylon village, and he replied in the affirmative. Further pressed as to whether he bought the said plot of land, he replied in the negative, saying it was given to him by one Lamin Jarju as a gift.

When quizzed again by the defence on whether Lamin Jarju had given him any document with regards to the said plot of land, he again replied in the negative.

As to how much money he spent on erecting the structures there, Manga in response said, "D10, 500 for the first house and D75, 500 for the second house."

Asked whether he could recall the 30 March 2008, the day of the incident, he said "yes."

When asked whose houses were burnt, in reply he said Bakary Jarju, Nyima Jarju Tutti, Iso Jassey, Abdou Sarr, Ebrima Sohna and his own house too.

He maintained that these were the names of people he had earlier mentioned in court, during his previous testimony.

On how many people he saw on that day, he said, "they were more than 100 people."

"When you saw the accused persons destroying the houses, did you do anything," the defence asked. In reply, he said, "I did not do anything, because I have no power to stop them."

When asked what did the people of Babylon do after the incident, in reply he said, "they did not do anything, because they knew that there is law."  

Also testifying under cross-examination, Lamin Sanyang, the seventh prosecutor witness, stated that he has a plot of land in Babylon that was given to him by Lamin Jarju with a transfer ownership document. At that juncture, the defence counsel applied to the court for the witness to produce the said document. The court then granted her application.

He was also asked whether the transfer document was signed by the Alkalo, and in response he said, "No, it was signed by Lamin Jarju."

Further quizzed by the defence as to whether Lamin Jarju was an Alkalo, in response the prosecution witness said there is no Alkalo in Babylon, that they only have a community leader who is Lamin Jarju.

When asked by defence counsel H. Gaye whether on 30th March 2008 something has happened in Babylon, he replied in the affirmative.

According to Mr. Sanyang, on that fateful day his friend, Sana Touray, called to inform him that there was a crime happening at Babylon, and then he went to see for himself.

The eighth prosecution witness to be cross-examined was one Ensa Jassey, who told the court that he has no compound in Babylon. As he put it, "Only my relatives are residing in Babylon."

He said on 30th March 2008, he was called by his son who informed him that residents of Makunbaya were attacking Babylon.

Asked why he did not report the matter to the police, after receiving the information, he said in reply that he did not take it as reality.

He said his younger son was present when he received the information, and that he himself went to Babylon.

The case presided over by Principal Magistrate Emmanuel Amadi was adjourned for continuation of the hearing.