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Ex-AG Jobarteh gives evidence in court

Nov 8, 2013, 9:35 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

The former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Lamin AMS Jobarteh, yesterday told the Special Criminal Court that it was not his decision to charge Justice Wowo, former Chief Justice of The Gambia.

Jobarteh was continuing his evidence-in-chief in the criminal trial involving him, former solicitor general Pa Harry Jammeh, and former secretary general Dr Njogu Bah, at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul before Justice Emmanuel Nkea.

The three are being tried under a three-count which included conspiracy to carry out a lawful purpose by an unlawful means, giving false information to a public officer, and abuse of office; charges they denied.

Jobarteh told the court that the decision to charge Wowo was not his decision, and not anybody’s decision at the Justice ministry.

Jobarteh further stated that regarding the withdrawal of charges against Wowo, he could not go into the details of that, although the constitution has given him powers to enter a nolle.

Among others things, Jobarteh also said in his defence: “In as much as my chest is full, I will not stand to gain anything by implicating anyone, or touching on the character of anyone, particularly through an unfounded statement.

“I say so because the whole world, especially those who knew me, never knew me for double standards, and it is not also true that I showed people that I am the boss at the ministry.

“This is the first time I have been accused of being deceptive by the 2nd accused, and in exercise of my right I forgive him,” Jobarteh stated.

Concerning the arrest of Amie Bensouda, Jobarteh told the court that he later came to know that the case file of Amie Bensouda was sent to the AG’s Chambers, after her arrest and investigation.

He added that as far as he know, the officer investigating the case had sent the case file directly to the office of the DPP. He said the procedure is that, usually when opinions are written, the office of the DPP would bring them for him to look at as AG, and discussed them together, including the DPP and other state counsel.

However, for this matter, it had never happened. “I have never seen this case file”, former AG Jobarteh said.

The case continues on 13 November 2013.