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In NIA Diamond Case Accused Testifies in Court

Jun 4, 2009, 7:01 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Lamin Drammeh, who was charged with stealing, criminal trespass and abuse of office along with Basiru Jabang, Kajali Jawara, Lamin Sanneh, Fabakary Barrow and Salimina Drammeh, has on 1 June, 2009 testified in the NIA diamond case before acting Principal Magistrate Sainabou Wadda-Ceesay of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court.

In his testimony, he told the court that as far as he was concerned, he found the evidence of the prosecution's witnesses to be false. He adduced that he did not give a statement concerning the allegation and denied stealing the diamonds. He testified that he never had an opportunity to look at the report by the panel of investigators. He added that he had never confronted the Germans while investigations were ongoing. He stated that it was not to his knowledge that the outcome of the report by the panel of investigators was adhered to. He further adduced that he was dismissed from his job.

He testified that one Dr. Alami had testified before the court and that the Germans did not appear before the panel of investigators. He denied receiving a copy of the report of the investigators and had never confronted Lawyer Borry Touray. He added that he was never questioned about the issue at the Kotu Police station and was never detained there.

He confirmed that he was detained at the NIA Head quarters for a day without bail.

Under cross-examination, he stated that Kajali Jawara had contacted the Germans but they denied owing one Adama Bangura. He said Kajali Jawara did so by inviting them for questioning at the Badala Park Hotel and that was where they denied owing Adama Bangura. He further indicated that Kajali was responsible for commanding his officers as to how the operations should be carried out. He went on to say that he was the Officer Commanding of the team of investigators and worked directly under Salimina Drammeh who asked him to send an officer to the hotel to meet the liaison officers.

He adduced that they were to meet with one Buba Senghore and at the time he did not know him. He stated that he sent one Ousman Taal and called Kajali Jawara. He testified that Kajali Jawara did not tell him that they were investigating the Germans.

He indicated that he was in the same office as Salimina Drammeh when he sent Ousman Taal and that Kajali called him after he sent Taal that they invited the Germans and searched their rooms, but they did not find anything. He further added that he went to Badala Park Hotel because the German's had confessed that they had diamonds in their possession.

He indicated that he did not take inventory of what was found in the rooms of the Germans, and that he did not either ask whether the other accused persons had a search warrant because they did not need to have any. He testified further that he told Kajali to put the Germans under surveillance at the airport. He denied threatening the Germans that he would jail them for ten years if they did not leave the country. He also denied taking $500 from the Germans and gave them to Adama Bangura for the case to be settled.

The case was adjourned to 30 June 2009.