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In Ex IGP Badjie robbery trial, Defence Counsel grills witness

Jul 7, 2010, 12:12 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Defence counsel Borry S. Touray representing former Inspector General of Police Ensa Badjie yesterday continued his cross-examination of the first prosecution witness (PW1), Soriba Condeh.

Under cross-examination before Justice Ikpala at the special criminal court of the high court in Banjul, the witness was asked in how many operations did he steal scratch cards, and replied that this happened during two operations.

When defence counsel BS Touray put it to him that the alleged operation was not in respect of a bank, but bureau de change, PW1 replied in the affirmative.

When counsel Touray further asked if it is correct that the break in at the bureau de change was on 15th February 2010, Condeh said "yes". He admitted that he was convicted after that operation, when this was put to him by the defence counsel.

Further asked for the number of years he was sentenced, PW1 said he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. "This ten years sentence is different from the earlier sentence", asked the defence counsel. "They were consolidated", replied the witness.

He denied being part of an operation carried out in Kololi, when asked by the defence counsel. He also denied, under cross ?examination, attacking one Alfusainey Jallow, a shopkeeper, with his wife during one of their operations.

When it was put to him by defence counsel B. Touray, that he led a team of robbers, and that they attacked the said Alfusainey, PW1 again denied this ever happened.

He said he has never been arrested by the 1st accused person (Ensa Badjie), when counsel put it to him that following the shop break-in at Kololi, his arrest was effected by the 1st accused.

Condeh also said he was not aware that the arresting team was sent by the 1st accused.

When told by the defence counsel that Ensa Badjie never owned a bar, the witness insisted that the 1st accused was the financier of that bar.

Still under cross-examination, PW1 told the court that he did not know whether the owner of the supermarket is an Indian.

He admitted that he was prosecuted after the operation at the said supermarket, when this was put to him by defence counsel Touray.

PW1 also maintained that they stole D500,000 from the said supermarket, during the operation.

Asked why he did not mention that in his cautionary statement, PW1 said it was Ensa Badjie who recorded the said statement, and that he knows it.

Quizzed by the defence counsel, who said Condeh was not speaking the truth, because the 1st accused never obtained any statement from him in all the break-ins, the witness maintained that everything was taken by the 1st accused.

When asked by the defence counsel whether he stated in his statement that he gave D300, 000 to the 1st accused, after breaking into the said supermarket, PW1 said he could not state that, because the 1st accused knew everything.

He testified under cross-examination that the statement he made to the police, in the case of Sgt Jahateh, was recorded by the 1st accused.

He said "you couldn't speak against somebody helping you", adding that the 1st accused is a person who recruits all bandits of different nationalities.

He also admitted that Sgt Jahateh was acquitted, when this was put to him by BS Touray. He said that it was because of his case that the 1st accused was taken to Brikama as the police commissioner there. He said that the 1st accused and Sgt Jahateh are partners.

When it was put it to him that he has been promised a presidential pardon, Condeh responded that nobody has promised him that.

Defence counsel further put it to him that the promise was made to him at the NIA, and PW1 said he was never promised anything at the NIA.

He said, under cross examination, that nobody has told him to say the things he is saying in court, when told by the defence counsel that everything he was saying was taught to him.

Mikailu Abdulli, the deputy Director of Public Prosecutions represented the state. Hearing continues today at 2 pm.

The former police boss, Ensa Badjie and Superintendent of Prison Ali Ceesay were arraigned at the special criminal court, after being indicted on different counts, including conspiracy to commit a felony, robbery with violence, receiving stolen property, aiding and abetting, robbery, conspiracy to commit misdemeanour, aiding prisoner to escape, official corruption, conspiracy to defeat justice and interference with witnesses, deceiving witnesses, offences relating to judicial proceeding, and using criminal charms, among others.