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Prosecution witness taken to task

Jan 20, 2011, 11:01 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Siaka Jammeh, a prosecution witness, was on 18th January 2011 vigorously cross-examinated by lawyer Mboge, defence counsel, who was representing his client, Ensa Badjie, who was charged with stealing a Hyundai car and motor engines, a charge he has denied.

Under cross-examination before Magistrate Tabally of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, Siaka Jammeh told the court that he knew the State Guard Commander Serign Modou Jagne.

He also told the court that he knew Yankuba Jatta and Famara Jammeh.

When asked whether he could remember that the three people mentioned gave him a cheque, he said it was not a cheque, but a note was handed over to him by them.

He continued to tell the court that the ‘big man’ had left some money in the bank.

He added that he then stamped the note, and Famara Jammeh did the same. “From there, I left with Serign Modou Jagne to open an account,” he told the court.

He was asked whether the note he referred to was not a cheque, but said a cheque was not handed over to him.

He added that an account was opened for him, and when he was asked in which of the banks an account was opened, he said it was at the Standard Chartered Bank.

“Is it not true that you were given D1,273,296?” asked the counsel.

“I was informed by the big man that I should go with Serign Modou, Yankuba and Famara to open an account,” the witness said.

He clarified that the ‘big man’ is the President.

“Did you receive the money from these people?” defence counsel asked. “No, they did not give me the money. I know that an account was opened for me, but I don’t know whether it was opened for that purpose,” he added.

When asked whether the money was for the maintenance of the vehicles, he answered in the negative.

“I am putting it to you that you are not speaking the truth,” the defence counsel challenged him.

 “I am speaking the truth,” he replied.

“Do you know the former IGP?” the witness was asked.

“Yes, I know him, but I am not familiar with him”.

Asked whether he did not give a statement to the former IGP, he said,”No”.

“When was your statement recorded?” the defence counsel asked.

“It was recorded at the CID office,” he told the court, adding that he did not know the CID officer who recorded his statement.

“Is it correct that you don’t know Lamin Cham, who was among the panel of investigators?” asked the defence counsel.

“I don’t know him by his name, because they were many,” the witness said.

“You are deliberately lying to the court,” said the defence counsel.

“I am speaking the truth,” he stated.

Asked whether he did not give his statement at the former IGP’s house, he said he did not know the former IGP.

“Is it correct that you were given 15 vehicles to repair?” the defence counsel enquired.

“I cannot remember the number, but all the vehicles were repaired,” said the witness.

“Can you remember making an invoice at Kotu Garage?” defence counsel asked.
“Yes”, answered the witness.

“Can you remember the invoice you raised for the purchase of tyres for the presidential convoy?” asked the defence counsel.

“No”, he answered.

“Did you make any request for money for the purchase of tyres?” the defence counsel asked.

“No”, the witness continued.

“Is it not correct that, after the transfer of Kanifing Garage to Kotu Garage, you alleged that 22 engines were missing?” asked the defence counsel.

“No, I did not open my mouth and say so,” he told the court.

“Who said so?” the witness was asked.
“I don’t know,” he replied.

“Do you know that the former manager of the Kanifing Garage, Joseph, sold some scrapped metals?” asked the defence counsel.

“I don’t know anything about Kanifing Garage,” said the witness.

The case was at this stage adjourned for continuation.