Nov 5, 2014, 10:30 AM
The trial involving Babylon alkalo Lamin Jarju and 13 others Thursday proceeded at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Dago Small.
The case proceeded with the cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, Valentine Ndeki, by defence counsel Borry Touray.
Under cross-examination, counsel asked the witness to tell the court when the alleged incident happened, and the witness said it happened in 2013, but could not remember the month.
“When Francis was going to the station, did he go with you?” Counsel asked.
“I went with Francis to the station,” answered the witness.
“Did you report the matter to the police on the day the trees were cut?” counsel enquired.
“Yes,” the witness answered.
“When you went to the police station, what happened?” counsel asked.
“Francis made a statement and he later went to the bush alone,”PW1 said.
“You talked about the burning of charcoal, was it done on the same day?” Counsel enquired.
“No,” PW1 replied.
“This cutting of trees was done on whose land?” asked counsel.
“It was done on Francis’ land,” the witness stated.
“Is it correct that you are not the complainant?” counsel asked.
“I complained because they destroyed my land too,” stated PW1.
“So you are saying trees were also destroyed from your land,” counsel put it to him.
“Yes,” replied PW1.
“How many trees were cut in your land?” asked counsel.
“113 trees,” said the witness.
“The statement you made at the station, if I read it to you, will you identify it?” enquired counsel.
“Yes,” the witness replied.
The wordings were read to him and he admitted it was his statement.
The defence counsel then applied to tender it, and it was admitted and marked as exhibit without any objection from the prosecutor.
“Do you own the same farmland along with Francis?” asked counsel.
“There is a road of less than a metre but the farms are separated,” the witness said.
The case continues on 30 January 2014.