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In Ensa Badjie voire dire trial, independent witness ends testimony

Nov 30, 2010, 10:59 AM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

Babucarr Khan, the independent witness in the voire dire trial to ascertain the voluntariness of the cautionary statement obtained from the 1st accused person, Ensa Badjie, yesterday ended his testimony at the High Court in Banjul before Justice Amadi.

Ensa Badjie, former Inspector General of Police, faces a 51-count indictment, and is on trial alongside Lt Col Mam Matarr Secka and Major Kuluteh Manneh.

They were earlier indicted by state prosecutors on charges including conspiracy to commit felony, obtaining money by false pretence, economic crime, obtaining goods by false pretence, official corruption, sedition, and abuse of office, among others.

Responding to questions by defence counsel BS Touray, the independent witness, Babucarr Khan, told the court that he could not recall the exact number of cautionary statements he witnessed for Ensa Badjie.

Khan also told the court that he could not recall the day of the incident at the NIA when Sillaba and the 1st accused were confronted.

However, he told the court that Ensa Badjie’s cautionary statement was recorded by one Mr Jobe.

When asked by defence counsel BS Touray, whether he knew how many times cautionary statements made by Ensa Badjie were torn to pieces, the witness said he could not remember how many times the cautionary statement was torn.

Counsel then put it to him that Ensa Badjie’s cautionary statement was torn into pieces three times, but Khan insisted that he was not aware of that.

Counsel again put it to the witness that he was not speaking the truth, because if he was present he would witness the tearing of the statements.

The witness, however, maintained that he was speaking the truth, adding that he could also not remember whether Ensa Badjie was present at the NIA, at the time he saw Sillaba at the NIA.

Defence BS Touray further put it to the witness that the reason why the 1st accused Badjie’s cautionary statement was torn three times was because blood was oozing from his nose, and it stained the statement.

Babucarr Khan further adduced that he could not remember seeing the 1st accused on 13th March 2010 at the NIA, nor could he remember the day Ensa Badjie’s cautionary statement was signed.

Khan, nevertheless, maintained that he signed Ensa Badjie’s cautionary statement, as an independent witness.

He vehemently denied being in the payroll of the NIA, when it was put to him by the defence counsel that “he is in the NIA’s payroll”.

He further told the court that he did not exactly know on which day Ensa Badjie’s statement was recorded, but was sitting with Badjie at the NIA.

Further put to him that he was not present at the time Ensa Badjie’s cautionary statement was recorded, the witness maintained that he was there, when the cautionary statement was being recorded.

The case at that juncture was adjourned till 8th December 2010.