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Prosecution application to re-open case granted

Apr 7, 2014, 9:33 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay & Fatou Jallow

Magistrate AA Jagne of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court Thursday granted the prosecution’s application to reopen their case in the trial involving Lieutenant Colonel Solo Bojang and Anineh Jammeh, charged with giving false information and abuse of office.

In her ruling, the trial magistrate said the prosecution closed their case on 10 March 2014, and the first accused entered his defence on the same date.

On 13 March 2014, the prosecution applied to reopen its case, saying they wanted to call two more witnesses including the proposed witness by the first accused, she said.

The prosecution said they believed that by calling the same witness the 1st accused wanted to call, no injustice would be done to the 1st accused hence urged the court to grant its application, the magistrate added.

She said the accused, in response, said he was relying on the court to decide, since he had already opened his defence and also expressed fear that the witness might not tell the truth.

She added that the 2nd accused raised no objection to the application made by the prosecution.

“I have carefully read the prosecution’s application and the reply made by the accused persons. The question here is whether the court can grant the prosecution’s application to reopen its case after the 1st accused entered his defence,” said the magistrate.

She said the prosecution said the witness, captain Tamba, worked hand in hand with the 1st accused, which the 1st accused did not deny.

She therefore granted the application for the prosecution to reopen its case and called in the witnesses to testify.

In his testimony, Captain Landing Tamba, a security officer attached to State House, told the court he knew the accused persons because he worked with both of them.

Captain Tamba said he never went with the President to Alla Kunda Farm, saying he was next in command to the 1st accused in Kanilai Farm.

He said nobody assigned him to Alla Kunda and did not know if anyone ever assigned the accused persons to Alla Kunda and he had never been to Alla Kunda with the 1st accused.

“One day the 1st accused met me at the airport farm with a vehicle and asked me to wait for him, which I did,” he said.

Captain Tamba further said the 1st accused drove straight to Alkalo Sheriff Jammeh’s compound at Alla Kunda and told the 2nd accused to call one Matarr Sanneh, Sherrifo Bojang and Alkalo Sheriff Jammeh.

He said they later drove to Mayock to a junction where the President’s Farm ends and the 1st accused told the Alkalo to show him where they discussed, but nobody told him they were looking for a land.

He said the Alkalo pointed to the place and said the land was divided into three parts and they could take the two, because the third one had cashew trees planted on it, but the accused said they would hire chainsaw operators to cut the trees.

He said the Alkalo insisted that he could not give them the land because it was a family land and had planted cashew trees on it.

The accused said the President said if he wanted an area for a land from a person and if that person did not give it to him, the person would never farm on that land, he said.

There was a discussion between them but they did not come to terms and that was the time he discovered that the accused persons were looking for a land, Captain Tamba added.

He said he asked the Alkalo why they were enquiring for a land and the Alkalo said the 1st accused came to him and said the President said he wanted a land but he told them he could only give them two parts of the land because the third one had trees planted on it.

He said that after the accused handed the office over to Major Seedy Baldeh, he and Major Seedy Baldeh went to Alla Kunda to the Alkalo to find out about the issue.

He said they went there to find out because none of the accused persons showed any document showing that the President requested for the land.

Under cross-examination, the 1st accused, Solo Bojang, asked the witness whether there was any work that should be done which he did not discuss with him, but the witness said any work he did, he took command from him.

Asked whether it was not true that before he did something, he informed him about it, the witness said it was not true.

As to whether he could tell the court how many times he went with him to Alla Kunda, the witness said he went with him once.

The case was then adjourned till 15 April 2014.