Dec 21, 2015, 10:09 AM
Ebrima K.M. Ceesay, a major crime officer, was the fourth prosecution witness to testify in the cocaine trial involving nine foreign nationals at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Emmanuel Nkea.
The accused persons are Ephriam Micheal Chiduben a Nigerian national, Juan Carlos Sanchez, Eric Bottini, Dose Fermin, Juan Carlos Diaz, and Esteaban Zavala all Venezuelan nationals, George Sanchez a Mexican/Liberian national, as well as Rudy Rasoehamid Gazi and Dennis Wilgo Winter both Dutch nationals.
They were allegedly found with two and half tonnes of cocaine, a prohibited drug, reportedly worth one billion
Testifying on Tuesday, officer Ceesay told the court that he recognized the accused persons.
He adduced: “On 9th June 2010, I was assigned by my superior, Inspector Sainey Ndure, to join the investigating panel at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
“Upon my arrival at the NIA headquarters, I joined the panel and, some minutes later, the accused persons were confronted with the panel, and I was instructed to obtain cautionary statements from the 7th accused person, Eric Bottini.
“I called the accused person to my desk to obtain his cautionary statement in the presence of the independent witness, one Babucarr Khan, and one Abdoulie Bojang who served as the Spanish language interpreter.”
Ceesay said he cautioned the accused in the English language, which was interpreted to him by the Spanish language interpreter, and subsequently he understood and thumb-printed, the independent witness signed and Spanish language interpreter also signed, the statement.
He added that he also endorsed the statement, adducing it was read all over again to the accused person, which he agreed to and signed.
Officer Ceesay identified the said statement in court, which was tendered and admitted as an exhibit.
At that juncture, the case was adjourned until today.