Dec 31, 2013, 10:33 AM
The criminal trial of three executive members of the National Patriotic Students Association (NAPSA) continued yesterday at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before acting-Principal Magistrate Tawio Ade Alagba of the Banjul Magistrate court.
Babucarr Jallow, Denis .T Gomez and Jarga E. Gaye, all executive members of NAPSA are being tried on charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, forgery and uttering false documents.
When the case was called, Lawyer Badou Conteh, who held brief for Kombeh Gaye-Cooker, told the court that the defence was applying for an adjournment.
He said according to the counsel in the case there is negotiation going on and if it materialised the defence would communicate to the prosecution before the adjournment date.
Responding to counsel Conteh’s request for an adjournment, the prosecuting officer, Sgt Manga, told the court that the prosecution was opposed to the application for an adjournment.
He said the prosecution was not aware of any negotiation, adding that if there was any negotiation that should not stop the case from proceeding.
He added that the case had suffered three adjournments at the instance of the defence, and that he had a witness for the case to proceed in court.
“Your Worship, the court should take judicial notice that this is a criminal trial, and it could not keep being adjourned without any tangible reasons,” he concluded.
The trial magistrate in his ruling stated that the court could not keep adjourning the case, as it is a criminal matter, and subsequently called on the prosecution’s fourth witness to give evidence.
In his testimony, Alimamy Touray told the court that he is a police officer and on 21 April 2011, he was part of the panel that investigated the NAPSA executive on a funding of their congress.
He added that during the course of the investigation he obtained two voluntary statements from the first accused, Denis T. Gomez, two voluntary statements from the third accused, Jarga Gaye and one voluntary statement from Babucarr Jallow, the second accused.
He added that before obtaining the voluntary statements, he read the cautionary words to them, adding that they agreed with the charge and signed in the presence of an independent witness, one Sulay Sowe, who also signed.
The said statements were later tendered and admitted in evidence, and marked as exhibits.
The case at this juncture was adjourned till 5 July for cross-examination.