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In Observer editor Jobe and Co trial, PW1 continues testimony

Jul 17, 2013, 11:16 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

The first prosecution witness in the trial involving Alhagie Jobe, deputy editor-in-chief of the Daily Observer newspaper and one Mbye Bittaye yesterday continued his testimony before Justice Emmanuel Nkea of the Special Criminal Court.

Jawor Keita testified under cross examination by defence counsel E. Jah.

Alhagie Jobe was arraigned on a five-count charge of making an act with seditious intention, seditious publication, and possession of seditious publication, giving false information to public servant, and recklessness and negligence, while Mbye Bittaye was arraigned on a single count of making preparation to do an act with seditious intention.

Under cross-examination, defence counsel E. Jah put it to the witness that if the car of the 1st accused had hit the wall, there would be particles of bricks on the vehicle.

The witness adduced that they found some particle of bricks and dust on the vehicle, when they visited the scene because the vehicle spent the night there.

It was put to the witness again that it was the vehicle of the security officer that forced the vehicle of the 1st accused into that position, but officer Keita replied that they found the vehicle of the 1st accused stuck at the scene.

It was the 1st accused who confirmed to the panel that the laptop which was discovered in his office belonged to him, after a brief investigation, the witness went on.

“The 1st accused confirmed it to us, that the laptop belonged to him,” he said.

When it was put to the witness that the said laptop belonged to the Daily Observer newspaper, the witness adduced that all he knows was that the 1st accused told the panel that the said laptop was his.

He added that they left no stone unturned in the investigation, adding that the said laptop was discovered in the office of the 1st accused at the Observer newspaper.

Officer Keita further stated that he was not present when the search was conducted at the Daily Observer newspaper in the office of the 1st accused.

Observer newspaper never claimed that the laptop belonged to the office, he continued, adding that when the 1st accused opened the laptop before the panel, the story “Major Lamin Touray on the run” was discovered, and many other things.

‘The article “Major Lamin Touray on the run”, according to the article, was authored by one Ousainou Dumbuya, but I am not sure whether Ousainou Dumbuya works at the Daily Observer,” he also told the court.

The witness further stated that the article was discovered in the laptop of the 1st accused person, adding that the investigation into the case was not biased, and it was adequate.

“We found only one article on the laptop, as far as the investigation is concerned,” he adduced.

It was put to the witness that the 1st accused will never write any seditious article, because he is a big supporter of the President, but he replied that he did not know about that.

It was further put to him that the 1st accused will never give an incorrect story to the panel, but the witness stated that the 1st accused did so.

PW1 said the 1st accused wrote the story, and he admitted before the panel that he was introduced to Major Lamin Touray by one Njaya Jallow, who is in the USA.

When it was put to the witness that this was an allegation set up by Pa Malick Faye, who lost his job at the Daily Observer newspaper, and blamed the 1st accused for that, the witness said he did not know about that.

He further told the court that he did not obtain the cautionary and voluntary statements of the 2nd accused, adding that the 2nd accused confessed at the panel.

The case continues on 23 July 2013.