Sep 4, 2014, 9:18 AM
The state witness Patricia Fangawa on Tuesday revealed alleged bribery transactions between her and Magistrate Saikou Fatty, during cross examination by defence counsel L.S. Camara before magistrate Abeke of the Bundung Magistrates’ Court.
During cross examination, defence counsel L.S. Camara asked if it made any sense to her to pay D20, 000 as a bribe to the magistrate, rather than to pay the money to the plaintiff.
However, the state counsel M. Jobe objected to the question and said it was contrary to the Evidence Act, as counsel was soliciting the opinion of the witness.
The magistrate in his ruling disallowed the question.
The defence counsel then rephrased the question as follows: “It’s correct that the claim against you was for the recovery of D20, 000. Why didn’t you pay the money to the plaintiff?”
“Because I did not owe the plaintiff any money,” she replied.
“So you decided to continue with the case?”
“Yes, then we would have settled the matter out of court.”
“It is clear that you have been coming to court all along.”
“Yes,” the witness responded.
Counsel then requested for exhibit A from the court, and asked the witness to read it to the court, which the witness did.
Exhibit A, a receipt, read that it was a contribution for the Osusu and not a payment of D20, 000.
“Who wrote the receipt, and what date was stated on it?”
“It was the cashier of the Bundung Magistrates’ Court who wrote it, and it is dated 18th March 2014,” replied the witness.
“I am putting it to you that you received D8, 000 from the cashier,” counsel went on.
“Can you tell the court when did you allegedly pay the D10, 000 and the gold wristwatch?”
“It was 18th of March, the same day that I collected the D8, 000 from the cashier’s office.”
Did you receive any receipt or anything to prove that you paid the D8,000 to the accused person?”
“No, but one Joseph Wizman was present at the time,” the witness told the court.
“What time was it?”
“It was in the morning.”
“What time did you pay the D10, 000 and the gold wristwatch?”
“The D10, 000 was paid around 02:30 pm, and the wristwatch was paid around 05:00 pm,” added the witness.
The case continues on 5 February 2015.