Jul 1, 2011, 12:15 PM
One Michael Russel, a British national, was recently arraigned before Magistrate Ceesay of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court for allegedly obtaining money by false pretence, a charge he denied.
Testifying before the court, the prosecution witness, Kanburama Ceesay, told the court that he is a businessman, and that he recognised the accused person.
He added that it was in 2003 when one Yorro Manneh came to his shop at Serrekunda Mosque Road and asked him whether he wanted his son to travel, and that he responded in the affirmative.
According to the witness, Yorro Manneh told him that he saw a whiteman (the accused) who told him that he has a company in Mauritania, and that he employs people and later makes them to travel.
He revealed that he trusted Yorro Manneh when he informed him, and then invited Ebrima Jeng, Omar Fatty andYorro Manneh to be present along with the accused.
Further narrating, he said that he enquired from Ebrima Jeng how much he should pay, and Ebrima Jeng told him that he should pay D70,000. He indicated that Mr. Jeng and the accused worked together, and the accused told him that the said D70,000 was for his son's enrolment in the company, and demanded D35,000 from him.
He further adduced that he paid D35,000 directly to the accused in the presence of his witnesses.
He added that the accused told him to convert the other remaining D35,000 into Euros, and give to his son to go with Mr. Jeng to Mauritania. He said that he did as he was told by the accused.
Later, he said, his son returned and told him that the said Ebrima Jeng introduced him to the bandits, and further told him that he was severely tortured, until he managed to escape.
Finally, he revealed, it was in 2009 when his son saw the accused, and he was arrested at Yundum Police Station. He was later transferred to Serrekunda Police Station, where his statement was recorded.