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Judicial Secretary cross-examined in Wowo and Jobarteh trial

Oct 3, 2013, 9:58 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

John Belford, the Judiciary Secretary, yesterday continued his testimony under cross-examination in the trial involving former Chief Justice Joseph Wowo and former Attorney General Lamin AMS Jobarteh, at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul before Justice Emmanuel A Nkea.

Justice Wowo and Lamin A.M.S. Jobarteh were arraigned on a thirteen-count indictment which included abuse of office, conspiracy to defeat Justiceand interference with witnesses, offences relating to Judicial proceeding, to giving false informing to a public officer, at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul before Justice Emmanuel Nkea.

Belford under cross-examination told the court that as the Secretary to Judicial Service Commission, he had never received a court process challenging the validity of the handing over notes.

“I did not have the power to declare the handing over notes illegal,” he said.

Asked by Wowo his qualification, Belford said he obtained a diploma in Human Resources in the UK.

“I never obtained a diploma in Law,” he said.

The witness also told the court that he did not bring any letter from the Presidency, when asked by the defence whether he could produce the letter from the presidency.

Belford said he could produce it, but did not know how long it would take him to bring the letter from the Presidency to court.

He further explained that he had a letter from the Executive, but did not have the copy of the letter, adding that the communication from the Presidency usually comes from the Personnel Management Office, and the Ministry of Justice.

He stated that when Former Chief Justice Agim left, there was a vacuum, although Justice Wowo sat in the office.

There was no correspondence from any arm of the government informing them that Wowo was the acting-Chief Justice, Belford further told the court.

Belford added that Justice Wowo was performing a function without any authority to do so.

“Yes, I signed the handing over notes as a witness, and take instructions from the 1st accused during that time,” he said.

The case was then adjourned to 10th October 2013, for continuation.