May 21, 2014, 9:48 AM
A 69-year-old Yahya Ceesay of Mandinary village recently testified at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Sidi Jobarteh in the trial involving Kunkujang Jataya Alkalo, Sanneh Jatta, one Lamin Beyai and Bakary Jammeh, accused of criminal trespass and willful damage to property.
In his testimony, Ceesay said he recognised all the accused persons in the dock, adding that he was a retired civil servant.
He recalled that on 16 November 2014, he was going to Ceesay Kunda farmland called “Puteba” in Mandinary village when he noticed that the farmland of PW1 was cleared and burnt.
He proceeded to his farmland and went to ask one Sainey Samusa, who told him the land was cleared and burnt by the people of Kunkujang Jataya.
However, the defence counsel, Lawyer Borry Touray, objected and said the witness should tell the court what he had seen and what he had witnessed, and not to state on what he had heard from the people, for the interest of justice.
The police prosecutor told the court that the statement that the witness had given was very important because the name he mentioned was also a witness to the matter.
The presiding magistrate ruled that the witness should not state what he had been informed about but should tell the court what he saw and what he had witnessed, for the interest of justice.
The witness continued, saying he went and asked Ousman Ceesay whether he was the one who cleared or burnt his own land but Ousman said he was not the one.
He said the following day, he called Ousman Ceesay and asked him, who said his land was cleared and burnt.
Ousman reported the matter to Mandinary Police Station and the matter was later referred to Yundum Police Station, he said.
According to him, at the Yundum Police Station, the police commissioner said they should go with some police to visit the scene.
Alkalo Sanneh Jatta was arrested and pictures were taken by the CID officer, he told the court.
The pictures were tendered in court for identification purpose.
He said that he made his statement at the police station.
The case continues.