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Room-girl Testifies in Dutch National's Case

Dec 23, 2008, 4:06 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Adama Sarr, a room-girl at the Kombo Beach Hotel yesterday testified at the Kanifing Magistrates' Court as the prosecution's first witness in the ongoing trial involving Maurice Alfred Vanmaldegum, the Operational Manager of Kombo Beach Hotel, charged in connection with the escape of Mr. Andrew Charles Northfield, the General Manager of Carnegie Mineral Company.

In her testimony Ms. Sarr told the court that she has been at KomboBeach for 10 years as room-girl.

She adduced that she was the one who cleaned the room (Room 110) where Charles Northfield was residing on the 31st August 2008. She told the court that that day she left the accused person, Mr. Maurice Alfred Vanmaldegum, in the room and went to continue her work.

Under cross-examination, she said that she never spoken to Charles Northfield and she did not know how long he had stayed there.

Carnegie Mineral Company an Australian Mining Company in the Gambia had its operational licence terminated by the authorities and legal action taken against the company and its General Manager Mr. Charles Northfield, for stealing and economic crime.

However, Charles Northfield during the course of the trial reportedly jumped court bail and escaped to the United Kingdom.

The government of The Gambia on the 10th September 2008 issued a press release declaring Mr. Charles Northfield, General Manager of Carnegie Minerals Company in the Gambia, 'wanted'.

Reports quoted from the Daily Mail have it that Mr. Charles Northfield arrived in the UK on the 2nd of September 2008. The paper stated that Mr. Northfield was smuggled out of the country ahead of his trial by security expert Martin MacGowan-Scanlon through Senegal.

Mr. Maurice Alfred Vanmaldegum is charged with two counts:

Count I states that the accused on or about 3rd September 2008, at the Kombo Beach Hotel, where he works as Operations Manager, conspired with others at large to defeat the course of justice by communicating with Charles Andrew Northfield, a trial prisoner, knowing him to have absconded from trial.

Count II has it that the accused on the same day and place knowingly prevented the execution of a legal process by communicating with Charles Andrew Northfield who had absconded from trial and entered his room and removed his personal effects instead of reporting to the authorities.

He, however, denied the charges.

The case continues on the 29th December 2008.