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Trial of ex-police chief, prosecutor commences, two police officers testify

Feb 11, 2011, 12:43 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The criminal trial involving ex-police chief Ensa Badjie and Tijan Badjie, former officer commanding prosecution Banjul Division, yesterday commenced at the Banjul Magistrates' Court before acting Principal Magistrate Alagba.

Ensa Badjie and Tijan Badjie were earlier indicted on four-count charges of conspiracy to defeat justice, for destroying evidence, abuse of office and deceiving a witness.

Testifying, the first prosecution witness, Superintendent Habibu Sanyang, told the court that he is a police officer attached to the prosecution unit at the police headquarters in Banjul.

He added that he resides at Banjul New Police Lines, and that he recognised the accused persons, confirming that they were his boss.

Superintendent Sanyang told the court: “on1August 2008, I was called by the then officer commanding prosecution Banjul Division, Tijan Badjie, who asked me to serve the then Director of the National Intelligence Agency and now the Executive Director of the National Drug Enforcement Agency, Benedict Jammeh, and to come and testify as a prosecution witness in the case of Inspector General of Police versus Burama Dibba, then the Crime Management Coordinator.

"I was then a leasing officer at the prosecution unit. I went to search for him personally, and served him, and he promised that he would turn up, which he did at the following adjournment date."

When asked by the state counsel, M.B. Abubacarr, what happened after serving him, Sanyang said Benedict Jammeh came to testify all he knew.

He was further asked by M.B. Abubacarr whether he knew what actually happened in court.

However, before the witness could answer the question, defence counsel LS Camara intervened and said the witness could not know what had transpired at the court, because he never said he was there when Benedict Jammeh was testifying.

He added that as leasing officer at the time, his role was to serve him, but not to go to court to know what happened there.

Also testifying, the second prosecution witnesses, Nfamara Gomez, another police officer attached to the Interpol unit at the police headquarters in Banjul, told the court that he took two cautionary statements from the second accused person, Tijan Badjie.

He added that he recognised the accused persons prior, and was part of the team that investigated the matter.

"The first statement I obtained from the accused person was on 8 November 2010, and the second was recorded on 17 November 2010," he told the court.

"I signed and the accused person also signed, and if I see the said statements I would recognise them," he added.

The said statements were later tendered and admitted as prosecution exhibits.

Lawyer L.K. Mboge told the court that the defence was applying to the court for the prosecution to provide them with all the accused persons' cautionary statements, as well as the witness's statements before the next adjournment date.

The trial magistrate subsequently granted the application, and ordered the prosecution to serve the defence with all the relevant documents regarding the case.

The case was subsequently adjourned till 22 February 2011