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Lawyer Darboe challenges prosecution witness in UDP militant’s trial

Jan 23, 2014, 9:38 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Defence counsel Ousainou Darboe Tuesday challenged the prosecution witness by way of cross-examination in the trial involving Ebrima Solo Sandeng, UDP militant, who was charged with giving false information to a public officer, at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Aji Amie Jagne.

Muhammed Jaiteh earlier testified as the second prosecution witness in the said trial.

Under cross-examination, Lawyer Darboe asked the witness what type of business he does, and the witness said he has an internet, gym center, carpentry workshop, library and a hall.

Under cross-examination, PW2 stated further that the internet hall belongs to the community but there was a MoU between him and them.

“Does the town hall belong to you?” asked counsel Darboe.

“It does not belong to the community yet, and it is not mine,” PW2 said.

“Is it not correct to say that the carpentry is not yours?” counsel challenged.

“Yes,” PW2 replied.

“Is it correct to say you are being paid a salary?” Lawyer Darboe asked.

“I paid myself and the staff,” Mr Jaiteh said.

“Who owns the business which you operate and pay your staff?” asked counsel Darboe.

“It’s my cousin,” answered the witness.

“On 30 November 2013, did you go to the hall earlier than 9a.m.?” Counsel asked.

“I went there at 9a.m.,” replied Mr Jaiteh.

“Were you there from 9 a.m. until they dispersed, and you did not move an inch?” Counsel Darboe further challenged.

“No,” replied PW2.

“For how long were you away?” counsel enquired.

“About 20 minutes,” Mr Jaiteh said.

“Did any of your employees come to meet you there?” asked counsel.

“The only person who came was the watchman,”PW2 answered.

“Is it correct that you had your lunch at the hall on that day and it was from the food provided by the organizers of event?” Counsel asked.

“Yes,” the witness answered.

“Is it true that the kanyeleng you saw that day were singing and dancing?” Lawyer Darboe put it to him.

“Yes,” the witness stated.

“Is it not correct that the young women were dancing ‘seeruba’ and ‘musubajulo’?” Counsel asked.

“Yes,” the witness said.

“Is it correct that dancing, eating and singing is what you are referring to as meeting?” Lawyer Darboe asked.

“Yes,” the witness answered.

“Do you use to witness political rallies?” counsel enquired.

“Yes,” PW2 said.

“You are aware that it used to be held in an open place and not a town hall,” asked counsel.

“Yes,” Mr Jaiteh answered.

“There was a programme at the July 22nd Square and it was called ‘Thank you Mr President’. Did you attend it or watch it on TV?” Lawyer Darboe asked.

“No,” the witness said.

“Do you know, as an ordinary person, that UDP people can organize social gathering and enjoy themselves?” counsel put it to the witness.

“For me, if anyone comes with a permit, I will give you the go-ahead,” said PW2.

“Did you report the organizers of the events to the police?” Counsel enquired.

“No, I did not,” the witness said.

“Are you sure you told the police that what you saw was a social gathering?” asked counsel.

“Yes,” the witness stated.

“Are you sure you repeated the same thing at the NIA office?” Lawyer Darboe asked the witness.

“Yes,” the witness replied.

“Are you sure that you told them what Darboe said that this was not a meeting and the meetings will be held on 14 and 15,” asked counsel.

“Yes,” PW2 stated.

“Who was the one at the NIA that you met?” counsel enquired.

“It’s Jerreh Jammeh,” PW2 replied.

“Do you know Kolley at the NIA?” asked counsel.

“Yes, I do,” replied PW2.

The case continues on 29 January 2014.