By Rohey Jadama Alagie K. Manneh, a police investigator attached to the Major Crimes Unit of the Police Headquarters, yesterday, 20th January, 2015 testified as the second prosecution witness (PW2 ) in the ongoing trial involving Mr. Ousman Badjie, the former Minister of Works and Transport. He testified before Justice S.A Abi of the Banjul High Court. When the case was called, Lamin S. Camara announced his appearance for the accused person, whilst Hadi Saleh Bakum, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) represented the state. Mr. Manneh told the court that he lives in Sinchu Alagie and that he knew the accused person sometime in November, 2014 when he was tasked to obtain his cautionary and voluntary statements. PW2 told the court that at first the accused was asked to write his own statement and upon writing the said statement, an independent witness signed it and which he (accused) endorsed, adding that he was the one who cautioned the accused. The police investigator said he read out the particulars to the accused in the presence of an independent witness but that the accused denied all the charges. When asked by the DPP whether he will be able to recognize the said statement if shown to him, PW2 responded in the positive, adding that his name and signature are on it. After confirming the said statements shown to him, the DPP proceeded to apply to tender them. Without any objection from the defence, they were accordingly admitted and marked as exhibits A, A1 and A2 respectively. PW2 was further asked by the DPP to say all that he knew about the case and his respond was that his role was only limited to taking statements from the accused. Under cross-examination by the defence counsel Lamin S. Camara, the witness was asked whether it is correct that he did not know what transpired at the Gambian Embassy in France. In response, PW2 answered in the negative. When asked by the defence counsel whether he knows the name of the independent witness and where he works, the witness told the court that his name is Basiru Drammeh but that he doesn’t know where he works. “I will like to say apart from obtaining exhibit A, A1 and A2 you don’t know anything about this case,” said Lawyer Camara. “Yes,” replied the witness. Under re-examination by the DPP, PW2 was asked whether he will be in a position to know whether Basiru Drammeh works in the Gambia Police Force. The defence counsel objected to the question, citing a subsection of the Evidence Act. He argued that the question is confined to matters referring to cross-examination. “My lord, this question arose from the evidence in chief of the witness and the answer was in the negative. Therefore, this question should be disallowed,” submitted Counsel Camara. The trial judge in his ruling upheld the defence’s objection and disallowed the said question. At this juncture, the case was adjourned to 29th of January, 2015 at 2pm.]]>
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