Jan 9, 2013, 9:51 AM
The trial on charges of concealment of treason and perjury involving Abdoulie Njie and Alieu Lowe, yesterday commenced at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.
Testifying, a prosecution witness, Inspector Abdoulie Sowe of the Major Crime Unit, told the court that he knew the accused person, stating that on 19 April 2006 he was part of the investigation panel that investigated the alleged foiled coup plot led by the then CDS Col Ndure Cham.
He added that the 2nd accused, Alieu Lowe was brought before the panel, and was asked about his participation in the alleged coup plot, and he later obtained both the voluntary and cautionary statements from him in the presence of an independent witness.
PW1 explained that he introduced the independent witness to the 2nd accused person, and read the cautionary and voluntary statements to him in the presence of the independent witness.
He added that the 2nd accepted and gave his statements in the Wollof language, which he recorded and read back to him in the English language translated into Wollof, which the 2nd accused accepted and thumb-printed the statement, and the independent witness also signed the statement.
He added that in the voluntary statement, the 2nd accused was charged with aiding and abetting.
The prosecutor, at that juncture applied to tender both the voluntary and the cautionary statements.
This was, however, objected to by the defence counsel on the grounds that the statements were obtained under duress, which prompted the court’s decision to conduct a trial-within-a-trial to determine the trutth of counsel’s assertion.
The case continues on 18 January 2012.
According to the particulars of offence on count one, on 16 March 2006 at diverse places in The Gambia, Abdoulie Njie and Alieu Lowe, knowing that Ndure Cham, Alieu Lowe, Hon. Demba Dem and others intended to stage a coup and overthrow the president and the democratically-elected government of The Gambia by force of arms, did not give the information thereof within all reasonable dispatched to a minister, magistrate, a police officer or a member of the armed forces, and thereby committed an offence.
The particulars of offence on count two stated that on 19 March 2006, at diverse places in The Gambia, knowing that Ndure Cham, Alieu Lowe Hon. Demba Dem and others intended to stage a coup did not take reasonable steps to prevent the commission of the offence.
Count three stated that Alieu Lowe in November 2006, at Banjul within the jurisdiction of the court, gave false testimony in criminal case No HC- 208-06-CS- 37-A and thereby committed an offence.
The accused persons vehemently denied the charges against them.