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Ex-Foreign Affairs Officials Trial Resumes

Sep 19, 2008, 5:18 AM | Article By: By Modou Sanyang

The trial of Bai Ousman Secka and Muhammed Batata S. Juwara, former senior civil servants at the Department of State for Foreign Affairs, resumed yesterday at the Banjul Magistrates' Court before Magistrate Lamin George.

Testifying under cross-examination by the defence counsels, PW1 Lamin Bojang told the court that there were two Permanent Secretaries at the Department of State for f

Foreign Affairs at the time Isatou Njie applied for her annual leave. He said they were William John Joof and Momodou S. Njie, adding that it was Willy Joof who gave the approval for leave to Isatou Njie.

According to him, the two accused persons were never involved in the approval of leave to Isatou Njie and that he the witness was the one who conveyed the approval letter to Isatou Njie.

When quizzed by the defence counsel Hawa Sisay -Sabally that Isatou Njie proceeded on her leave because there was no objection from the Personnel Management Office and the Foreign Affairs Department, the witness responded that all what he knew was that Isatou Njie applied for leave and it was granted.

When the defence counsel, Hawa Sisay-Sabally, put it to him that Isatou Njie is still an employee of the Gambia Government, he responded that it was only the Public Service Commission that could confirm it. He said Isatou Njie's resignation letter was not in order and it was not approved, adding that Isatou Njie was attached to the Foreign Affairs Department in 2006, and since she left for leave she never returned. He adduced that when Isatou Njie tendered her resignation letter, they could not respond to her because they could not reach her. He said he did not see any letter from the Public Service Commission terminating the services of Isatou Njie from the Government of the Gambia.

It could be recalled that the two accused persons are standing trial for the alleged offences of conspiracy to commit a felony, making a false document, uttering false document and abuse of office.

The case was then adjourned until 24th September 2008.