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Ex-Gamtel employees economic crime case resumes

Aug 24, 2010, 12:15 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

As Gamtel IT Director Gives Evidence

The four-count economic crimes charges levied against three former employees of the Gambia Telecommunications Company (Gamtel) yesterday resumed before Justice Emmanuel Amadi of the high court in Banjul.

The three accused persons are Ebrima Bandeh, former Director of Multimedia Department of Gamtel, Adama Ceesay and Shiekh Gay. All the accused persons denied the charges.

Testifying for the prosecution, the fourth prosecution witness, Na Ceesay Marenah, told the court that she is the Director of Information Technology at Gamtel, and that she recognised all the accused persons.

She adduced that, in 2008, she was called by the Chief Executive Officer of Gamtel, to make a printout of 16 numbers for the NIA, adding that the numbers are Gamtel prepaid numbers.

"I was requested to printout costing of the calls in respect of 16 numbers, and I provided the information," she added.

Asked by the state prosecutor whether she can remember the said numbers, the witness replied in the negative.

When the document was given to her and after going through it, she recognised them.

The state prosecutor, MB Abubakar, applied to tender the said document as an exhibit, but the defence counsel representing the accused persons, L.K. Mboge, objected to it on the grounds that the document is not in the list of exhibits attached to the summary of information that was served to the defence.

He added that it would be a surprise to the defence to tender documents that had not been brought to the knowledge of the defence. This, he submitted, would be prejudicial on the side of the defence.

In response, the state counsel, MB Abubakarr said the issue before the court was misconceived by the defence counsel, stating that the witness was listed as one of the prosecution witnesses and summary of evidence was also attached.

“The accused persons were sufficiently informed of the contents of the documents sought to be tendered, and there was no element of surprise as claimed by the defence counsel,” MB Abubakarr added.

L.K. Mboge replying on points of law cited Section 175 (b) of the CPC. However, Justice Amadi overruled counsel’s objection, and admitted the documents as exhibits.

PW4 further testified that they had experienced a slow billing system, and that access to the billing server was also slow. They investigated why the billing system was slow, and later communicated with the accused persons, all working at the Multimedia Department, and told them that they are experiencing slow access to the billing services.

The case was subsequently adjourned to 25th August 2010, when the defence counsel is expected to cross-examine the witness.