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Prosecutor closes case in Foroyaa messenger’s trial

Jan 29, 2014, 9:54 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

The police prosecuting officer, 3560 Colley, on 27 January 2014 announced the closure of the state’s case against Mass Kah, a Foroyaa messenger who was charged with sedition before Magistrate Isatou Janneh of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

This announcement followed the testimony of the fifth prosecution witness.

In his testimony, the witness, Omar Tunkara, told the court that he lives in Welingara and is a civil servant.

He said he recognised the accused, adding that he could recall what happened on the 18 November 2013, as he was on duty in his office.

He said while on duty, he had something to do with the accused person.

Mr Tunkara added that the accused was brought to his unit for investigation, for allegedly uttering a negative statement against the photo of the President, which Lamin Camara was pasting on his vehicle, at a tailoring workshop located at Latrikunda German.

He told the court that the accused was confronted with such allegation, and confessed to making the statement, and that Lamin Camara was present when he made the statement.

Mr Tunkara said the other allegation was that Mass Kah also said, “Hallifa was the only man in The Gambia who wears a pair of trousers, and the rest are women.”

He said the accused also confessed to making that statement.

He further testified that one of the investigating officers, Fansu Manneh, was instructed to record the cautionary statement of the accused.

After investigation, they found that the words uttered by the accused were seditious and charged him, and a report was compiled and signed by the witness dated 26 November 2013, Tunkara went on.

At this juncture, the prosecutor applied to tender the report.

The defence counsel, Lamin S. Camara, did not object, and the report was admitted as an exhibit.

Lamin S. Camara, under cross-examination, told the witness: “During the course of your investigation, the accused told Lamin Camara: “If you want, you can paste the photo on the Sky?”

“Yes,” said the witness.

“The accused was telling Lamin Camara if he likes,” the defence counsel put it to the witness.

“Yes,” answered the witness.

“He is not actually telling him to paste the photo on the Sky. He told him if he likes,” challenged the defence counsel.

“Yes,” the witness, Tunkara, replied.

“If Lamin Camara likes, what would have been pasted on the Sky?” the defence counsel asked.

“The photo,” answered the witness.

“Only Halifa wears a pair of trousers and the rest are women. Does that include me and you?” the defence counsel enquired.

“Yes,” Mr Tunkara replied.

“Mr Tunkara, look at me. Am I wearing a wrapper?” asked the defence counsel.

“No,” answered the witness.

“What about you?”

“No,” said Mr Tunkara.

“It is only Halifa who wears a pair of trousers. Is that not a fiqurative statement?” asked the defence counsel.

“I don’t know,” answered the witness.

“What is your understanding that it is only Halifa who wears a pair of trousers?” the defence counsel asked.

“My understanding is that Halifa Sallah is the only man and the rest of the Gambian men are women,” Mr Tunkara told the court.

At this juncture, the prosecutor announced that that was the case of the prosecution.

Lawyer Lamin S. Camara rose and told the court that he was going to make a no-case submission.

The case was adjourned till today.