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Trial of ex-Kombo Central NAM and others progresses

Sep 11, 2013, 9:25 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The trial of former National Assembly Member for Kombo Central, Abdou Jarju, and others Monday proceeded at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Amie Jagne.

The other accused persons are Lamin Jarju, ward councillor of Marakissa, Yahya Bojang, councillor for Suuba ward, Bakary Kujabi, Malick Jassey and Lamin Kullo Jatta.

The case continued with the cross-examination of the first prosecution witness (PW1), Alieu Jarju, by the accused persons.

Under cross-examination, the fourth accused, Bakary Kujabi, asked the witness that in his evidence, he said Lamin Jarju said if he had the power, he would shift the meeting

PW1 responded that he did not say that; what he said was that he was passing and heard Lamin saying that.

When he was asked when was the meeting held at Seyon, the witness said the meeting was held at Marakisa and not Seyon.

It was put it to him that he mentioned that the meeting was held at 8 p.m., and was asked at what time he was passing, PW1 said he passed the area around 5 p.m.

Asked whether any of the accused persons saw him when he was passing, PW1 said he could not say whether somebody saw him or not, but he saw them and heard them.

Asked to tell the court the distance between the meeting place and where he was passing, but PW1 said he did not measure the distance, but he was passing on the road.

Further asked who his witness was when he said the meeting was held on 25 June, PW1 said he did not say he had a witness, but he went there himself, and they told him he could not attend the meeting.

Asked by another accused person, Abdou Jarju, he said on 24 July he reported the matter to the police, and he also said it was the Suwondi alkalo who pushed him to go and report the case. Now which among them was the truth? he was asked.

However, this question was objected to by the police prosecutor on the grounds that the witness did not say so in his evidence-in-chief.

Asked in which year he was the APRC mobiliser for Busura, the witness said since 1995 to date.

Asked whether he knew the APRC had rules, PW1 said he knew that every party has rules, including the APRC.

Asked if he would agree to tell the court that he was once a ward councillor, PW1 answered in the positive.

He was also asked which ward, year and under which party he became a ward councillor, PW1 said Marakissa Ward in 2002 to 2005 under the APRC party.

Asked whether he knew that in the party, one could not hold two positions at the same time, PW1 said he did not know that.

Asked whether the President’s meeting held in Busura was an APRC meeting, PW1, in response, said the President’s meeting was for all Gambians.

Quizzed again whether the meeting was for Busura ward or the entire district, PW1 said it was Busura that hosted the meeting, but it was for all Gambians.

“If Busura hosted the meeting does it mean that the speakers should come from all over the country?” the accused asked.

“The speakers at the meeting came from all over the country,” PW1 answered.

Another accused person, Malick Jersey, also cross-examined the witness and asked him in which meeting held in Marakissa he saw him, PW1 said he saw him in the two meetings that were held in Marakissa.

Jersey put it to him that it was not true, but PW1 maintained that all what he said before the court was the truth.

Jersey put it to him that he said he identified him with a group of women coming towards the President, and in which manner, PW1 said he saw them coming in angry mood, because they were pushing and pulling with the security.

Lamin Kullo Jatta, another accused person, also put it to PW1 that he told the court that on 8 June 2013, he attended a meeting at Marakissa, and was asked in whose compound and who was the landlord.

PW1 said what he said was that the meeting was held under a mango tree and it was an empty land.

Jatta put it to him that on 8 June 2013, he was in Marakissa to attend a naming ceremony, but PW1 said Jatta knew what he went for.

Asked that he was in a meeting and what did he hear, PW1 said he heard the first accused saying if he had the power, he would shift the meeting to another place.

Asked whether he (the witness) was part of the meeting, PW1 said he was passing and heard it.

Further asked where he was at the time, PW1 said he was at the shop.

“What did we say there?” the accused asked.

“I did not hear, but I saw you,” PW1 answered.

Jatta asked him where did they hold a meeting in Busura? PW1 said where they held the meeting was not far from where the President held his meeting.

The case was adjourned till 24 September 2013.