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Ex-Solicitor General cross-examined in criminal trial

Oct 23, 2013, 10:37 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

Former Solicitor General Pa Harry Jammeh was yesterday cross-examined in the criminal case involving him, former Attorney General Lamin AMS Jobarteh and Dr. Njogu Bah, the former Secretary General.

The three were arraigned at the Special Criminal Court on a three-count which includes 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.

Responding to questions by defence lawyer Borry Touray, Pa Harry Jammeh told the court that the former AG came to his office and summoned him to a meeting, and that when he asked the AG what the meeting was about, he said it was about Wowo, adding that Wowo was then in his office.

“I told the AG that I am not interested, but he insisted that I should attend the meeting as his permanent secretary,” he said.

Pa Harry further stated that the meeting was about the AG’s address to Wowo, and it was at that meeting he knew that a nolle was entered, and that the meeting was not intended to pursue charges or detain Wowo.

“I saw the air-ticket and Wowo’s passport was lying on the table of the AG. The AG insisted that he had nothing against Wowo,” he added.

He added that exhibit B does not bear the signature of the AG, adding that he could not remember any correspondence that was minuted to him by the 1st accused person.

Pa Harry added that his cautionary statement was his own handwriting and that as a ministry, they were concerned with the event that led to the arrest of Amie Bensouda, and several judiciary officers, adding that the established procedure was that ‘you don’t act on discussion’ but on directives.

DW2 testified that he could not remember who assigned the case file of Justice Wowo, and he could not also remember the time when the case file came from the NIA.

He said at the ministry, the DPP was the head of the criminal division, but the AG was the overall head.

It was put to him that at the Ministry of Justice, there was difficulty on flow of authority between him (Pa Harry Jammeh) and Lamin Jobarteh, but Pa Harry replied that there was no occasion when he openly challenged the AG, as far as he Pa Harry was concerned, because he regarded the AG as his boss.

“I can remember the occasion when the 3rd accused spoke to me. The Speaker of the National Assembly spoke to me, but did not speak to me about the need for a cordial relationship. I always treated the AG with respect,” said Pa Harry Jammeh.

He said there were instances when AG was characterized as the person who played double standards, because there was an occasion when the AG gave him approval to stay in office and attend some official duties, while the AG went to the parliament.

He added that at some point in the session in parliament, he was called by the honorable Speaker who asked him why he was not at the National Assembly and when he explained to him what happened, all those who were there were shocked and they all came to realize the double standards he was talking about.

The case continues today.