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More witnesses testify in Lawyer Mboge’s trial

Mar 2, 2011, 11:29 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The criminal trial involving lawyer Lamin K. Mboge continued yesterday at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before acting-Principal Magistrate Alagba.

Mboge is being tried on charges of making false documents without authority, false swearing and uttering false documents contrary to the laws of the Gambia.

Yesterday’s proceedings witnessed the cross-examination of Sergeant Makalo, the prosecution’s second witness, and the testimony of the third prosecution witness, Chief Inspector Bekai Bojang.

Continuing his testimony under cross-examination, Sergeant Makalo told the court that an amount of D6,500 was paid to the accused person.

He added that the money was divided into two payments, with D1,500 paid for consultation fee, and another D5,000 as legal fees paid to the accused person by the complainant, Saikou Barrow.

The witness added that the accused person prepared exhibit A, and that his name was written on it and there was a signature of the accused person. Alhagie Muhammed Barrow was the applicant in the case, he also said. 

Asked by defence counsel Antouman Gaye how many complainants were in the case, the witness told the court that there was only one complainant, Alhagie Muhammed Barrow.

He said Saihou Barrow, the son of the complainant, lodged a complaint on behalf of his father, Alagie Muhammed Barrow, who is very old.

Sgt Makalo said that after the son lodged a complainant over the document, he informed lawyer Mboge about it, because he knew him prior to this case as a legal practitioner, and as a former magistrate.

“I did not interrogate the accused person, but I interviewed him and I handed over the case file to the authorities concerned, and they recommended prosecution,” Sgt Makalo told the court.

Further asked by the defence counsel whether he was aware that Mr. Barrow had written a letter to withdraw the case, the witness in reply told the court that he heard that Mr. Barrow wrote to withdraw the case, but this was after he took the case file to the authorities.

He added that he could not remember when he sent the case file to the authorities for prosecution.

The third prosecution witness, Inspector Bekai Bojang, a police officer at police headquarters in Banjul, also testified. He told the court that he is the Station Officer, Criminal Records Office (CRO) and Scientific Support Unit at police headquarters in Banjul.

“On 23 December2010, I was at the office when Sergeant Makolo came together with the complainant, Alhagie Muhammed Barrow, with an affidavit and Makolo asked me to take the finger prints of Alhagie Mohammed Barrow, which I did,” Inspector Bojang told the court.

He added that after taking the finger prints of Alhagie Mohammed Barrow, “I compared the finger print on the affidavit and I realized that this two finger prints were not the same.”

Inspector Bojang added: “I prepared my report, took it to the fraud squad and handed over to Sergeant Makolo.”

He identified the affidavit and the report in court, which were tendered and admitted as court exhibits.

Asked by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) how many years he worked as a police officer, the witness said he served 15 years with the Gambia police force.

The case was then adjourned to 3 March 2011, for cross-examination.