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I pleaded with Richards to avert problem in my village, Jabang Alkalo tells court

Apr 12, 2011, 1:46 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Continuing his testimony, defense witness number two, Pa Ebrima Colley, the village head (Alkalo) of Jabang village, yesterday told the Banjul Magistrates' Court that he pleaded with Moses Richards to write the letter in question, in order to avert a big problem in his village.

Pa Ebrima Colley was continuing his testimony in the trial on a charge of giving false information and sedition involving Moses Richards before acting-Principal Magistrate Alagba.

"When Pa Harry Jammeh (Solicitor General and Legal Secretary at the Attorney General Chambers), asked me during a visit to his office whether I was the Alkalo of Jabang village and I said, 'yes', he asked me to do what the Sheriff asked me to do, that is, to find a lawyer who would write a letter on my behalf," Pa Colley told the court.

The Jabang village head added: "Pa Harry told me that I should write the letter within three days, and I wanted to explain to him further, but he advised me to do what he asked me to do. I panicked when Pa Harry told me that. Then I went to the office of the accused person, Moses Richards, where I informed him that I was advised by Pa Harry to find a lawyer who would write a letter for me, and that I was given three days."

According to the defense witness, he told Richards that he did not know any lawyer except him, and that if Richards failed to help to write the letter, there will be a big problem in his village.

"When I told Richards about that, he responded that he had an earlier problem with the Sheriff, not long ago, and that if he (Richards) writes the said letter it would not be in his favour, because he had a problem with the Sheriff and they had reported the matter to the Justice Minister," he further told a crowded courtroom.

He said Richards later referred him to many lawyers that can help him write his letter, but DW2 said he insisted that he knows Richards only, and that he has no money to pay for the services of other lawyers suggested by Richards.

"Richards then accepted to write the letter on my behalf, and he Richards told me to narrate everything that had transpired, because he was not present when the issue occurred."

He also told the court that one Alieu Ceesay at the High Court photocopied the said document for him, when defense counsel Antouman Gaye asked him who photocopied the said document.

Counsel Gaye, who led a team of defense counsel, then applied to tender the said document for identification purposes, and it was admitted by the trial Magistrate Alagba, with no objection from the deputy Director of Special Litigations Simeon Abi.

The case was then adjourned till 14th April 2011.