Oct 29, 2010, 11:08 AM
counsel in the criminal trial involving 10 GNPC officials accused of economic
crimes, Tuesday challenged the circumstances leading to the dropping of charges
against Edi Mass Jobe, before Justice O. Ottaba of the Special Criminal Court
The accused persons are Sira Wally Ndow-Njai, Momodou O.S. Badjie, Fafa Sanyang, Cherno Marena, Seedy Kanyi, Muntaga Momodou Sallah, Momodou Taal, Louie Moses Mendy, Noah Touray and Madun Sanyang.
When the matter was called, DPP S.H Barkun and deputy DPP M.B. Abubacarr appeared for the state, whilst the defendants were represented by senior counsel A.A.B. Gaye, S.M. Tambadou, O.M.M. Njie, C. Gaye, E. Sanneh, A.N.D. Bensouda, A. Sisay-Sabally, Y. Senghore, B. Bouye, E.E. Chime, C.E. Mene, S. Taal and S. Sillah.
PW1, Bakary Darboe, who was recalled for examination-in-chief when the state amended the charge by including a new name to the bill of indictment, was called upon by the court for further cross-examination by defence counsel.
Crossing-examining the witness on behalf of the 1st accused person, lawyer S.M.Tambadou asked: “At the onset of the investigation, how many people were charged or arrested?”
“I can’t remember.”
“Are they all in the dock?”
“I wouldn’t know that because I can’t remember how many people were arrested.”
“During the course of your investigation, did you come across a person called Edrissa Jobe?”
“Was he also arrested and charged along with all these accused persons?”
“I know he was arrested, but I can’t say whether he was charged.”
“Was Mr Jobe also given a questionnaire?”
“Did he provide answers to those questions?”
“Those answers that he gave, were they in addition to the cautionary statements he made?”
“Can you produce the written answers of Edrissa Jobe together with other cautionary statements he made to the police during investigation?”
“I cannot produce it.”
“Why can’t you produce it?
“Because, I am not in custody of these documents.”
“Can you tell this court who has custody of the documents?”
“Those documents are part of documents sent to the AG’s Chambers.”
“We humbly apply to your lordship to direct the state to provide us copies of the cautionary statement, and witness statement of Edrissa Jobe,” S.M. Tambadou said.
The DPP then said he would provide the defence with the copies, while they proceed with the case.
Counsel E. Sanneh representing the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 9th and 10th defendantsduring cross-examination asked the witness: “The 10th accused person’s statement was taken on 19 October, is that correct?”
“That is correct.”
“Is it also correct that the 10th accused person cautionary statement was taken long after the case has begun?”
“I don’t know.”
“In the bill of indictment, the investigative panel must have a change of mind, is that correct?”
“That is not correct.”
“Tell the court why the 10th defendant was so lately included in the bill of indictment?”
“How long have you been in the investigation?”
“If you cannot remember exactly when you start taking part in this investigation, how can this court believe that you have carried out a thorough investigation?”
“All that I can say is that I can’t remember.”
“Do you remember when these statements were taken?”
“Mr Jobe was invited to the police for a reason?”
“What crime was he accused of?
“I can’t remember.”
“Was this not the same crimes my clients were charge with?”
“Why was the case against Mr Jobe dropped?”
“I don’t know.”
“How could you possibly claim that you carried out a thorough investigation, when you cannot remember why the case against Mr Jobe was dropped?”
“As far as I am concerned, we carried out a thorough investigation.”
Counsel E. Sanneh continued:“Because, his alleged involvement in the case was discovered lately? In the beginning of the case, the 10th accused was used as a witness and was provided in the witness statement?”
“It is true that he was provided in the witness statement,” responded the prosecution witness.
“I put it to you that the 10th defendant was merely a scapegoat.”
The case continues today at 3pm.