Dec 23, 2008, 4:00 AM
The trial of one Mawlud Faal, charged with abuse of office and official corruption, Monday commenced at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Secka.
Testifying, the first prosecution witness (PW1), Muhammed Conateh, said he knew one Alagie Dembo Jatta (now deceased).
In 2009, one Suntu Conta came to him and told him that he was sent by Alagie Dembo Jatta for him to borrow him some money, Conateh said.
At that juncture, defence counsel Singhateh objected to that piece of evidence on the grounds that what the witness was saying was hearsay.
However, counsel’s objection was overruled.
PW1 continued and told the court that at that time the accused was at the Brikama Police Station.
He added that he told Suntu that he had no money but Suntu insisted that Alagie Dembo said he should do everything to help him since he was relying on him only.
Muhammed Conateh said he then asked Suntu to let him know the problem and Suntu told him that Alagie Dembo Jatta’s son was caught in possession of prohibited drug.
He further adduced that he then told Suntu to go to Serrekunda, adding that he took D30,000 and and he and Suntu went to the station and met Alagie Dembo Jatta in a cell and Jatta stepped out of the cell and they gave him the money, and he started to cry.
He said he was standing under the tree and heard his family telling him to go to the river and washed himself.
PW1 said when they went home, Suntu told him that Alagie Bembo Jatta had a piece of land at Busumbala measuring 50x50m and he could give it to him for D200,000 and he would be paying by installment.
He said that when he later visited the said land, he agreed and paid the money.
Under cross-examination, the witness agreed saying that he met Dembo in a cell.
Asked whether he knows what Dembo had committed, the witness said he did not know what he had committed.
Told that it would be correct to say that the police do not keep anybody who does not commit a crime, and the witness replied in the positive.
Counsel then put it to him that Alagie Dembo had a problem and he the witness helped him with D30,000, to which the witness agreed.
Further asked where the said Alagie Dembo Jatta was, the witness replied saying he was now deceased.
Asked again whether there was any witness during the transaction, the witness replied in the positive that Suntu was his witness.