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Senior bailiff continues testimony in Tina Faal trial

Nov 9, 2016, 10:05 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Alieu Ceesay, a senior bailiff at the Sheriff Division, yesterday continued his testimony in the case involving Tina Faal before Magistrate Kebba Baldeh of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

When the case was called, Inspector Sarja Sanyang told the court he was representing the IGP.

Defence counsel Sega Gaye said he was representing the accused.

The witness was asked what his office did after O’ Corporation became the highest bidder.

In response, he said a sum of money was paid, but could not remember the amount.

He was again asked what his office did after payment, and he stated that the money was paid to the judgment creditor.

Asked whether announcement was made on the air, he said it was made on the air.

Asked whether it was true that notice was also disposed for public auction, he answered in the positive.

Asked whether if the said notice was shown to him, he would be able to recognize it, he answered in the positive.

He was again asked how would he be able to recognize it, and he said the notice was a photocopy and had stamps on it.

The said notice was given to him to identity, which he did. He was asked whether he could get the original copy of the notice, but the defence counsel objected.

Sega Gaye said he was objecting because the question was a leading question, suggesting an answer.

He argued that the testimony of the witness was his examination in-chief, adding that the witness should be asked an open question, but not one that would suggest an answer.

He urged the court to disallow the question.

Inspector Sanyang said the question was not a leading question, adding that the witness said the notice was a photocopy, which was why he asked him whether he would be able to produce the original.

In his ruling, Magistrate Baldeh told the court that leading questions are not allowed.

He asked the prosecutor to rephrase his question.

Prosecutor Sanyang then asked the witness where the original copy was, and he said it could not be found.

The prosecutor applied to tender the notice.

The defence counsel objected to the application, adding that the document was a photocopy which made it secondary evidence.

He argued that the prosecutor did not lay a proper foundation to warrant the court to grant the application.

The witness merely stated that they checked but could not find the original, and did not comply with section 101 (1) of the Evidence Act.

He further argued that no evidence had been led to show that the witness was the maker of the document, adding that if the court admitted the document, the defence would lose the opportunity to ask questions to the maker of the document.

He stated that the prosecutor said the document was a certified document, adding that on the document, one side was stamped and the other side was blank.

He argued that the witness did not say how the document was printed and when.

He urged the court to reject the document, because the prosecutor did not lay a proper foundation.

Prosecutor Sanyang said section 101 (C) of the Evidence Act was referred to by the defence counsel, adding that this was why he asked the witness where the original was, and the witness said they were searching for it, but could not find it.

He said he had laid a proper foundation to tender the document.

The presiding magistrate finally admitted the said document, and it was marked as an exhibit.

At this juncture, the prosecutor applied for an adjournment, and the defence did not raise any objection.

The case was then adjourned for hearing to continue on 23 and 24 November 2016.

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