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Babylon alkalo and Co trial progresses

Feb 21, 2014, 9:51 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The trial involving Lamin B. Jarju, Babylon Alkalo, and others Monday proceeded before Principal Magistrate Dayoh M. Small-Dago of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court with the testimony of the fourth prosecution witness (PW4).

In his testimony, Nuha Jammeh, a farmer, said he lives in Makumbaya and that he recognised the accused persons.

He recalled that on 28 February 2013 he was at the farm of one Badara Ceesay, together with Abou Sarr and Francis Mendy.

He said Francis Mendy received a call after which they asked him what happened and Francis told them there were lots of people at Valentine Ndeki’s farm cutting down cashew trees.

They then accompanied Francis to the site where they found the accused persons, such as Lamin Jarju, Pa Jersey and Sutay Ceesay, known as Bulldozer.

Mr Jammeh said these were part of the people he saw at the farm cutting down cashew trees, when he saw fire burning the grasses on the land.

The number of cashew trees burnt was 275, he said, adding that they went back and the matter was reported to the police.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Borry Touray, who asked the witness where he was when the incident took place, the witness said he was at Badara’s farm.

“How was the said land acquired?” asked counsel.

“Badara acquired it from his late father,” replied PW4.

“When was the land allocated?” enquired counsel.

“I could not remember,” PW4 replied.

“What is the present state of the farm?” asked counsel.

“We are farming on the land and there are compounds on it too,” said the witness.

“Who are there?” counsel enqiured.

“Badara Ceesay,” said PW4.

“How many compounds were there?” asked counsel.

“I did not know,” PW4 answered.

“Were all the 275 cashew treesburnt on the same day?” enquired counsel.

“What I know was that 275 cashew trees were cut, but I did not know if it was on the same day,” said the witness.

“You said in your evidence-in-chief that 275 cashew trees were cut. It is that true?” asked counsel.

“Yes,” replied the witness.

“Was the matter reported to the police on the same day?” enquired counsel.

“I did not know but I know that the matter was reported to the police,” replied PW4.

“Were you invited by the police?” counsel asked.

“Yes,” said the witness.

The defense counsel then applied to see the witness’ statement which was granted.

“When did you give this statement?” asked counsel.

“I cannot remember,” he said.

“Was it the same time that you were beaten?” counsel asked.

“I did not know,” the witness stated.

“I put it to you that you are not a truthful witness,” said counsel.

“That is not true,” replied PW4.

“Are you 60 years of age?” asked counsel.

“Yes,” PW4 said.

“Are you not surprised that Badara stood before this court but did not mention Lamin Jarju,” counsel put it to him.

“I am surprised,” said the witness.

The defence counsel then applied to tender the witness’ statement, which was tendered in court and marked as exhibit.

The case was adjourned till 24 February 2014.