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GRTS DG testifies in Karafa Sanneh trial

Jul 29, 2010, 11:59 AM | Article By: Binta Fatty

Momodou Sanyang, Director General of Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), on Tuesday testified in the false information trial involving Karafa Sanneh, the former Director of Sifoe Farm.

Testifying as the 8th witness for the prosecution, Mr. Sanyang told the court that he knows the accused Karafa Sanneh, and could recall what happened sometime in the year 2008.

He told the court that he was with the President at his farm in Kanilai, when some ladies from Seyone village complained about the way they were treated on the rice field they had been cultivating for the President.

According to Sanyang, the ladies complained that they had been cultivating the rice field for the President, but occasionally some people go to the rice field without their consent.

The President, Sanyang further told the court, then sent him to the people of Seyone village, to tell them that he (the President) wants them to have unity before working for him, and that if they are not united, then he is not interested in their rice field.

Before he left for Seyone, Sanyang said, he invited the accused Karafa Sanneh, Hon. Lamin Bojang and Hon. Paul Mendy, the National Assembly Members for Kombo East and Kombo South respectively, and Ajay Janneh, the Chief of Kombo South to be present.

Sanyang added that he went to Seyone village, held a meeting with the people of the village and delivered the President's message.

At this juncture, the prosecuting officer, Inspector Fadera, announced that the prosecution was closing its case.

However, the defence counsel, Buba Jawo, made an application for a no-case submission.

Counsel submitted that his client was charged with giving false information to a public officer, and that the prosecution has called eight witnesses.

However, said counsel, the evidence adduced by the last three prosecution witnesses was irrelevant.

Counsel recalled that Matarr Badjie, whom the prosecution said the accused person had given the false information to, was not an alkalo (the village head) at the time of the alleged offence.

He pointed out that Matarr Badjie, who testified in court as the first prosecution witness, told the court that he was not the alkalo of Seyone village at the time.

The first prosecution witness also told the court that nobody was present, when he spoke with the accused, "except him, the accused and God".

Counsel noted that the second count was that the accused gave false information to one Modou Jallow, who testified that he did not speak with the accused person at all.

Moreover, counsel continued, the investigations were not completed, yet the prosecution took the accused to the court.

He therefore urged the court to discharge the accused.

The police prosecutor, in reply to the no-case submission, reminded the court that the prosecution called eight witnesses. He further submitted that investigations were indeed completed.

Inspector Fadera told the court that the evidence of PW 2 and PW5 corroborated, and that PW1 in his evidence-in-chief told the court that he was the alkalo of Seyone village at the time the alleged offence was committed.

He therefore urged the court to believe the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, and to overrule the no-case submission made by the defence counsel. He asked the court to let the accused enter into his defence.

At that juncture, Magistrate Nkea adjourned the case to 6th August 2010 for ruling.