Saturday, December 14, 2019

In The NIA 9 Case: Brazilian Forensic Expert Cross-Examined


By Nelson Manneh 

Samuel Ferera, the Brazilian forensic pathologist and medical doctor, during cross-examination yesterday March 13th 2019, told the Court that he collected the samples from the family members of the Late Solo Sandeng when he was here in the Gambia, but the testing of these samples was done in Brazil.

When questioned by Defence Lawyer Fatty as to who gave him the samples he used to test and identify the deceased, the witness responded that the nature of the samples was in two forms; that he collected the saliva and blood samples here in the Gambia, but the testing was done in Brazil. He added that on his mission to the Gambia, he worked and collected the samples at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul in the month of June 2018, and it is in that same hospital he met the family of the Late Solo Sandeng.

Dr Ferera told the Court that the conclusion from the process according to a scientific point of view, was correct.

Babucarr Mbye Adama Saine the 30th Prosecution Witness and Nurse who works at the Kanifing General Hospital, also continued his cross-examination by Lawyer Fatty. Saine told the Court during cross-examination, that the most senior person at any Ward in the Hospital, is always responsible for the Death Certificate booklet; that the Records Unit is the office in charge of distributing the Death Certificate booklet within the hospital. Saine told the Court that he is not the recording officer.

“Did you say in your evidence that it is only the Doctor who signed Death Certificates and not a physician?” asked lawyer S. Fatty. The witness reminded the Court that what he said was only a Doctor is responsible to sign a Death Certificate and not a nurse; that he has never seen the original copy of the Death Certificate which bears the name of the Late Solo Sandeng, Lamin Lang Sanyang and the signature of Sanyang.

“You told this Court that the 9th accused person Lamin Lang Sanyang, was one year ahead of you at the School of Nursing?” asked Lawyer Archigbue.

The witness responded in the positive; that during their training, they might have worked together but after that, they have never worked together.

The matter was adjourned to Monday March 18th 2019 at 1 pm, for continuation of hearing.

In this ongoing criminal trial, the former intelligence Chiefs are charged with offences ranging from conspiracy to commit felony, assault causing grievous bodily harm, murder and making false documents amongst others. They all denied wrongdoing.

The accused persons are Yankuba Badjie, an ex-director of the NIA, Sheikh Omar Jeng, an ex-director of operations at the NIA, Baboucar Sallah, Haruna Suso, Tamba Mansareh, Lamin Darboe, and Lamin Lang Sanyang. The 2nd accused person Louise Gomez, an ex-deputy director of the said agency, passed away in Government custody, during the course of the trial. However, Yusupha Jammeh, the 6th accused person was acquitted by the Court, upon the State’s application.

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