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Honest Company theft case: one convicted, another acquitted and discharged

Sep 3, 2012, 11:42 AM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

The Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, presided over by Magistrate Dawda Jallow last Wednesday convicted one Alasana Krubally, but acquitted and discharged Sarja Fatty, both employees of Honest Company Ltd.

The convicted person, Alasana Krubally, was sentenced to a fine of D20,000 in default to serve 1 year in prison. He was as well ordered to compensate the complainant with D341,800 within three months or risk serving another two years in prison.

Delivering the verdict, the magistrate said the prosecution called three witnesses while the accused opted not to call a witness and testified on their own.

He told the court that PW1 testified that the accused were employees and he sacked them, adding that the convicted person, Alasana Krubally, was the sales manager whom PW1 later promoted to be in charge of the entire business.

The magistrate said the witness testified that the second accused was an assistant that was responsible for recording all transactions.

He said PW1 revealed that after the accused’s service was terminated, an inventory was done and some differences were discovered, noting that the differences were investigated in detail.

He further said the inventory made of the sale stock was the last day of the first accused at work.

The magistrate said that PW2 also testified and said he was a brother to the complainant, stating that a power of attorney was sent to him by PW1 and that during the investigation, it was discovered that some of the computers were on credit but the amount was not known.

He said PW3 was a police officer, who said among other things, that a complaint was lodged which was investigated and discovered that the accused sold some computers and gave some as loan.

He said PW3 revealed that they realised that 144 computers and 91 LCD flat screen were missing.

On the other hand, the first accused in his testimony, said that after an inventory was done, they found out that some of the computers were good and some were bad, which was sent to PW1.

He said the first accused said he had some problems with PW1, which was his reason for his termination, noting that PW1 wanted him to contest in political elections.

The first accused said that after his termination, PW1 wrote to him making allegation of missing items, the magistrate said.

He added that he replied and sent an apology letter to him.

He also said PW2 said he was employed in 2008, when PW1 wanted to construct a house and that he helped him to buy materials for the construction.

He adduced that PW2 was sacked because of giving misinformation to PW1, adding that his job was to record and that the first accused made reports whenever PW1 requested report of sales.

When PW1 returned from abroad, he called them saying he wanted to close the business, as he was generally making no profit, he said.

Still in his judgment, the magistrate adduced that PW1 said that an inventory was done and items were found missing, stating that the first accused denied anything was missing. He insisted in his testimony that the inventory was done after he was sacked.

He said the evidence of PW1 and that of the second accused were corroborated and held it as a fact, adducing that nothing was on record showing that sales were made in the absence of the accused person.

According to him, it was on record that all transactions were made by the first accused as well as the inventory.

The magistrate said that even though the second accused was his assistant, under cross-examination, he said that no record on his side indicated he loaned out items.

“This was not contested by the first accused,” he added, saying that he had not seen any evidence linking the second accused to the charge.

Magistrate Jallow said the second accused was charged based on suspicion, noting that no matter how strong a suspicion is, it could not warrant a conviction.

He consequently acquitted and discharged the second accused.

First accused, under cross-examination, said he loaned 19 items and recorded 16 and sent an email to PW1, explaining the reason.

He said that PW1 made negotiations and did tell him the amount.

“It was evident that Pw1 was away. The first accused did not show any proof that PW1 was in the country to negotiate the price. It is evident that PW1 confronted the first accused about the discrepancy and the first accused emailed and apologised to him,” said the magistrate.

He finally said he did not believe the first accused that his termination was his denial of PW1 on political grounds, saying the prosecution had proven the case against the first accused as charged.

In his plea of mitigation, the convict begged for mercy, saying he was a breadwinner, married with a daughter.

Asked if the accused was known to the law, Cadet Inspector Kanteh responded in the negative.

The convict was finally sentenced to a fine of D20,000, in default to serve 1 year in prison.

He further granted the prosecution’s application to award the complainant with a compensation.

The convict was ordered to compensate the complainant D341,800 within three months; in default he would serve 2 years in prison.

He was granted bail with a Gambian surety in like sum and the surety must swear to an affidavit of means and deposit a national ID card.