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Prosecution witness cross-examined in alleged fraud case

Mar 23, 2011, 11:31 AM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

Neneh Cham Chongan, defence counsel, on 21 March 2011, cross-examined one Hussein Weizani, a prosecution witness, in the ongoing criminal trial involving one Sheikh Sowe, before Magistrate Tabally of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

According to the charge sheet, Sheikh Sowe, between August and September 2009, in the Kanifing Municipality, by false pretence and with intent to defraud Access Bank, presented cheques of Credit Industrial Commercial (CCI) dated 31st July 2009 with face value of €48,000.25 and cheque of Skandina Viska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB) dated 10 August 2009 with face value of €228,000.10, to the Access Bank knowing same to be false.

Testifying under cross-examination, the witness told the court that he works for SASCO, dealing in import and export, adding that at the time the incident happened, he was working for himself.

He said he was dealing in business of scratch cards, tyres and batteries of motor vehicles, engine oil, adding that at the time he was operating a shop.

The witness further testified under cross-examination that he reported the matter to the police at the end of 2009.

When asked by the defence counsel, whether he (the witness) and the accused were arrested in connection with the matter, he responded in the positive.

He added that they were detained at the Police Headquarters in Banjul for a day.

“I was later brought and arraigned before the court with the accused,” the witness revealed under cross-examination.

“I received two cheques from the accused and paid them to my account,” the witness explained.

He adduced that the reason given by the accused in exhibit A (cheque) was that he was going to sell him Euros to the tune of D1.8 million.

The witness narrated that the said transaction took place and that he paid the accused just after he had debited the cheque into his account.

“I did not pay to the accused all at once,” he testified.

Asked for the reason of exhibit B, the witness replied that it was also sold to him by the accused in Euros.

When further quizzed by defence counsel, Chongan, when did the said cheques issued, the witness responded: “I cannot remember.”

The defence counsel further put it to the witness that he collected exhibit B together with the accused in Dakar. The witness responded in the affirmative.

Asked how long he received exhibit A before exhibit B. The witness adduced that he could not remember, adding that he first received the funds of exhibit A and paid it into his account.

Still under cross-examination, the witness testified that he was paid directly into his account by the bank because he had several transactions with the said bank prior to this.

Weizani adduced that exhibit B was paid into his Euro account at the same bank.

The defence counsel further asked whether those accounts were active and the witness responded in the positive.

He added that the statements were not in court because “the bank only issues statement at your own request”.

At that juncture, the defence counsel, Neneh Chongan, applied for an adjournment for the witness to bring the statements of both accounts at that period.

The witness finally denied receiving monies from organizations.

The case was adjourned till 29 March 2011.