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Defence seeks independent witness recall in Ex-IGP Badjie's voire dire trial

Oct 14, 2010, 12:42 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Borry S. Touray counsel representing the embattled former Inspector General of Police, Ensa Badjie, in the 51-count indictment against him and two senior military officers, Lt. Col Mam Matarr Secka and Major Kuluteh Manneh, yesterday applied to recall the second prosecution witness in the voire dire trial.

According to him, the defence was yet to finish cross-examining the independent, Babucarr Khan, and he, therefore, applied to recall him for defence to continue cross-examining him.

It would be recalled that the prosecutors at the last adjournment date announced the closure of the prosecution's case in the voire dire.

The high court presided over by Justice Amadi adjourned the case to yesterday for the defence to open their case in the voire dire trial over the cautionary statement of the first accused, Ensa Badjie.

However, defence counsel BS Touray informed the court that he was applying for the recall of the independent witness, Babucarr Khan, citing section 127 of the criminal code.

"My lord, on the last adjournment date, my learned colleague M. Abdullihi was out of the jurisdiction and Barkun, one of the state counsel, informed me that he will be stepping in, but did not know the independent witness," counsel Touray told the court.

"Principal State Barkun further told me that if there is going to be any progress, he will call and inform me as I was in court, but later left for Brikama Magistrates' Court, and Barkun failed to call me," he added.

BS Touray further said the court had indulged the prosecution. However, Justice Amadi objected to the comment, stating that the counsel did not advance sufficient reasons for his absence during the last adjournment date, when lawyer Mboge held brief for him.

"Lawyer Mboge should not even hold brief for you, because this is voire dire," Amadi told Touray.

Touray responded: "I can ask any of my colleagues to hold brief for me." Justice Amadi again said: "I am not recalling this independent witness again." 

Borry said: "My lord, I want to be on record, even if I will be overruled. I had never been absent from this trial. My client has the right to complete cross-examining a vital witness like PW2."

Touray said the prosecution has been granted a lot of unnecessary adjournments in this trial, adding that he will formally file a motion to recall the independent witness, Babucarr Khan, to give him the opportunity to further cross- examine the witness.

Justice Amadi then adjourned the case to 15 November 2010 for counsel to file his motion.

It would be recalled that the former Inspector General of Police alongside two senior military officers, Lt. Colonel Mam Matarr Secka and Major Kuluteh Manneh, were earlier indicted by the state on 51 counts ranging from conspiracy to commit felony, obtaining money by false pretence, economic crime, obtaining goods by false pretence, official corruption, sedition, and abuse of office, among others.