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Human Trafficking Case Kicks off

Jul 4, 2008, 5:03 AM | Article By: By Dawda Faye

Lamin Jaiteh and Kanjura Jaiteh, who were charged with "prohibition of trafficking in persons and concealment of trafficking in persons", on Wednesday, 2ndJuly, appeared before Principal Magistrate Buba Jawo of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court where their case kicked off. Addressing the court, ASP Touray announced that he was representing the IGP along with Cadet Keita. He called his first witness to testify in a crowded court.

In his testimony, the witness told the court that his name was Salifu Nyang and that he was a police officer with regimental number 1696. He added that he was attached to the CID office of Kairaba Police Station. He stated that he recognised the accused persons, noting that he came to know about them at Kairaba Police Station. He further related that some thing had transpired between him and Lamin Jaiteh who was brought to his office on the said day by ASP Sawaneh who told him to record the cautionary and voluntary statements of Lamin Jaiteh.

He adduced that ASP Sawaneh told him that the accused was an agent who took money from people who wanted to travel to Spain. He indicated that he called an independent witness, Ebrima Manneh of Kotu. He went on to say that he introduced Ebrima Manneh to the accused as an independent witness. He further stated that he asked the accused to explain in Mandinka what happened but that he first read the cautionary statement form to him in Mandinka. He stated that he allowed the accused to explain what happened, adding that after explaining, he recorded the cautionary statement in the presence of the independent witness. He further adduced that he translated the statement from English to Mandinka to the accused, who acknowledged his comprehension.

Further testifying, the witness revealed that the accused signed the cautionary statement and that the independent witness also signed before he countersigned.

He said he recorded two voluntary statements because there were different charges. He added that he read the charges to the accused, which he accepted in the presence of the independent witness. He adduced that he recorded every thing and that both the accused and the independent witness signed the cautionary statements. He told the court that he also signed the voluntary statements.

Lawyer Surahata Jaiteh, the defence counsel, had some disagreement with ASP Touray concerning the voluntary statements.

The case was then adjourned to 9thJuly 2008, for a preliminary trial. Lawyer Omar Njie was also part of the defence team.