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First witness testifies in Ben Jammeh and Co trial

Jul 26, 2013, 11:29 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

The other accused persons are former spokesperson for the NDEA, Abdoulie Ceesay, former agency’s director of intelligence and investigation, Foday Barry, and Yusupah Jatta, former agency’s director of administration.

They are being tried under a 21-count criminal charge which includes economic crime, giving false information, fabricating evidence, abuse of office, negligence of official duty, theft, among others.

Detective Inspector Abdoulie Sowe, a police officer attached to the Bakoteh Police Station, told the court that he was part of the investigation panel, and during the course of the investigation, he obtained both the cautionary and voluntary statements from the 2nd accused person, Abdoulie Ceesay and the 3rd accused, Foday Barry, former director of intelligence and investigation.

He said that during the process of obtaining the statements, he read the cautionary wording to the accused persons, adding that he asked them whether they chose to write their own statements, which they preferred to do.

They wrote their own statements in the presence of the independent witness; they signed their statements and the independent witness counter signed it, and he also endorsed it.

Detective Sowe further explained that after obtaining the 2nd accused person’s statements, he preferred the charge of conspiracy to commit a felony, but the 2nd accused denied the charge.

He said he also preferred the charge of abuse of office, and neglect of official duty against the 3rd accused, Foday Barry, but Barry also denied the charge.

The witness identified the statements in court and the state prosecutors applied to tender the statements in evidence as exhibits.

The defence raised no objection to the admissibility of the statements.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Kebba Sanyang, PW1 told the court that he did prefer the charge against the 2nd accused, and the charge was related to conspiracy to commit a felony, which he had recorded from the 2nd accused person.

He said this was based on the findings of the investigation and not only the statements recorded from the 2nd accused, adding that it was the panel that preferred the charges against the accused because he (the witness) was part of the panel.

He stated that every member of the panel could prefer a charge against the accused.

The case continues.