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High Court Master testifies in Wowo and Jobarteh trial

Sep 11, 2013, 9:11 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

The Master of the High Court Buba Jawo yesterday testified before Justice Emmanuel Nkea of the Special Criminal Court in the trial involving former Chief Justice Joseph Wowo and former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Lamin AMS Jobarteh.

Wowo and Lamin A.M.S. Jobarteh are being tried for abuse of office, conspiracy to defeat Justice and interference with witnesses, offences relating to Judicial proceeding, to giving false informing to a public officer, which both denied.

Jawo told the court that he is working at the High Court as the Master of the High Court, and knew the 1st accused person, Justice Wowo.

He stated that while he was at his office at the Sheriff’s Division in his capacity as the Sheriff of the High Court, Lawyer Amie Bensouda came into his office and said she wanted data on the criminal cases.

“I was then overseeing the office of the Master, and I can remember she said it was for World Bank. I told her that any information that would be used internally should be brought to the knowledge of the Chief Justice,” Buba Jawo said.

The 1st accused was at the time overseeing the office of the Chief Justice, after Justice Agim left, he said, adding that it was for this reason he referred Mrs Amie Bensouda to him.

“Shortly after Amie Bensouda left, the 1st accused sent someone to call me and, upon my arrival, he asked me whether I am aware that somebody was going round looking for information,’’ he said.

“I replied in the affirmative, and told him that I have referred a person to you, and while we were talking in his office, Ms Anna Njie, a lawyer working with Amie Bensouda arrived at the office of Wowo.The 1st accused allowed her to enter while I was seated. She solicited the same information from Wowo,” High Court Master added.

Wowo told her that she had to apply formally, but Ms Anna Njie said it was urgent, and Wowo told her that if she wanted formally she had to come formally, he added.

Meanwhile, Basiru Camara, an officer of the National Intelligent Agency (NIA), also Monday testified in the said trial.

Camara told the court that he works with the NIA in the Counter Intelligence Unit, and he could recognise the accused persons, and he also knew Alieu Barry, the second prosecution witness (PW2).

He disclosed that he came to know Alieu Barry based on the assignment given to him by his OC (officer commanding), who gave him a CD, and asked him to transcribe it.

The NIA officer told the court that the CD was in connection with the negotiation conversation between the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, former acting-Chief Justice, Alieu Barry, Chucka, Christopher Mene, and Andrew Van.

“I was assigned to transcribe the CD, and after the transcription, Barry, the author of the CD, was invited for verification with him. Barry consented and I later signed it and passed the CD to my OC,” the NIA officer told the court.

The said documents were taken to the AG’s Chambers, and were given to a state counsel, he said.

Asked whether he could recognise the said CD, he replied in the affirmative, because it was labelled “confidential”.

He identified the CD and its transcribed copy.

The state counsel, Maurice Agaih, applied to tender them in evidence as exhibits, without any objection from the defence.

The case continues today.