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GAMCOTRAP officials’ trial progresses

Dec 29, 2010, 11:20 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The trial of Dr. Isatou Touray, Executive Director of the Gambia Committed on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Girls, and Amie Bojang -Sissoho programme coordinator of the same organisation Monday continued at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Emmanuel Nkea.

The two prominent women’s rights activists were alleged to have some time in 2009 in Banjul and diverse places jointly stole the sum of 30,000 Euros being money provided by the YALOCOMBA SOLIDARIDAD of Spain to Gamcotrap.

Continuing his testimony under cross-examination by defence counsel, Amie Bensouda, the seventh prosecution witness (PW7), Lamin Manneh, told the court that YALOCOMBA SOLIDARIDAD based in Spain made a second payment, even though they did not receive the full report from Gamcotrap.

Defence counsel, Amie Bensouda, put it to him that the statement he made in court was not true, because YALOCAMBA received a full report from Gamcotrap.

However, the witness insisted that their investigation report revealed that the complainant did not receive a full report.

According to PW7, he did not check the money sent to Gamcotrap, and could not remember how many times YALOCOMBA made transfers to Gamcotrap.

Manneh further told the court that his assignment was to investigate about the €30,000 sent to Gamcotrap by YALOCOMBA.

Defence counsel Bensouda further put it to the witness that it will be hard for his investigation to be fair, since he did not check the documents during the course of the investigation.

In reply, the witness said his investigation was fair, and that the documents involved in the case were many, and he could not remember each one of them.

When further quizzed by defence counsel, whether he interviewed one Daniel Kida, the witness in reply said the panel interviewed him.

Further asked by counsel whether the panel had obtained a statement from one Omar Dibba, Manneh replied that the panel obtained a statement from Omar Dibba in connection with the case.

Counsel Bensouda asked whether, as an experienced security officer, he knew that one could not operate a microfinance institution in the country without a license from the Central Bank. Manneh in reply stated that it was not his role to investigate that.

Counsel asked the witness whether Gamcotrap is a micro finance institution, to which he replied: “I did not know anything about that.”

Counsel Bensouda put it to him that Gamcotrap received the money from the complainant in three installment transfers. Manneh in reply said: “I did not know about that.

Counsel further revealed that in the first installment dated16th March 2009, Gamcotrap received from the complainant €41, 958 and also received €45, 794.90 as part of the second installment dated 19th April 2009.

The witness responded that it was not in his terms of reference to know the precise amounts.

The case was at that juncture adjourned until 3rd January 2011.