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Cocaine 9 trial continues

Nov 26, 2010, 12:08 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The criminal trial of nine foreign nationals, for alleged possession of two and half tonnes of cocaine continued yesterday at the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

Testifying before Principal Magistrate Emmanuel Nkea was the third prosecution witness, Karamo Saidykhan, a police officer.

Saidykhan told the court that, in the month of June 2010, he was part of the investigating panel and that three of them were assigned to escort the 1st and 2nd accused persons to Bonto village in the Kombo East district of the West Coast Region.

"Upon arrival we found some suspected cocaine parked inside bags like cement, and this suspected cocaine was found in a bunker, and we took it to the NIA main office in Banjul," he added.

"All the accused persons were later escorted from the NIA office to the NDEA main office, and shown the cocaine that was discovered at Bonto village," he told the court.

He said the panel was able to ascertain, during its investigations, that the land where the warehouse is located is registered under the 1st accused person's name.

Officer Saidykhan added that, "the first accused told us that the construction of the said warehouse was sponsored by the second accused person".

"The 1st accused person again told me that he was the supervisor of the warehouse, but was later dismissed by the second accused over a financial problem."

Still testifying, officer Saidykhan told the court that on 26th May 2010 and on the 8th June 2010 he obtained cautionary statements from the third accused, Esteaben Zevala, in the presence of an independent witness, one Babucarr Khan, and Abdoulie Bojang, a Spanish language interpreter.

"The accused person signed the statements, the independent witness signed and I also endorsed the statements," officer Saidykhan said.

The said statements were later admitted and tendered in court as exhibits.

"On 26th May 2010 and 15th June 2010, I also obtained cautionary statements from the 6th accused person, Louise Fermin, in the presence of the independent witness, Babucarr Khan, and Abdoulie Bojang, the Spanish language interpreter."

The said statements were also tendered in court as exhibits.

The case at that juncture was adjourned to 29th November 2010, for cross-examination by defence counsel LS Camara.