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NDEA officer testifies in NIA officers’ case

Feb 14, 2012, 1:18 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Lamin Gassama, intelligence unit officer under the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), as the sixth prosecution witness (PW6) yesterday testified in the case involving Lamin Darboe, Ebrima Drammeh, Edrisa Jobe alias Alagie Morr and Omar Jammeh, all officers of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

He told the court that statements were obtained from the fourth accused person (Omar Jammeh) by one Sabujang Jobe, who is currently attached at Bundung Police Station.

Asked whether he could identify the statements obtained from Omar Jammeh, he responded in the affirmative.

At that juncture, the Director of Special Litigation, Kulo applied to tender the said statements in evidence as exhibits, but the defence counsel objected to the admissibility of the documents on the grounds that the statements was not signed by an independent witness.

Defence counsel Abdoulie Sissoho said before obtaining a statement at the police, there must be an independent witness, adding that the document sought to be tendered by the state was not a statement as required by law, as well as under the judges’ rules and the Evidence Act respectively.

Sissoho further argued that the witness had testified that the recorder of the statement is at Bundung police station, adding that PW6 was not an independent witness, and therefore the statements could not be tendered through Gassama.

He then urged the court to reject the statements in the interest of justice.

Responding, Daniel O. Kulo said the documents put before the court were admissible in evidence going by the Evidence Act, and he added that the defence did not say that the statements were obtained by force or under any form of duress.

He urged the court to admit the documents.

The defence objection was overruled, and the cautionary and voluntary statements were admitted and marked as exhibits.

Testifying further, Gassama told the court that the statements were obtained from Edrisa Jobe (the 3rd accused person) by one Ebrima Jammeh.

He said he could identify the statements obtained from Jobe if shown to him.

The cautionary and voluntary statements obtained from Edrisa Jobe were later admitted and marked as exhibits.

Photographs of Lamin Kabbou showing marks on his body together with the negatives discovered during the cause of the investigation were also admitted and marked as exhibits.

At that juncture, the matter was adjourned till 20 February 2012.