By Mamadou Dem
Malang Jassey, Green Youth Mobiliser in Tanji and fifth prosecution witness in the trial of Sainey Marena, former freelance Journalist of Voice Newspaper and Musa Sheriff, Editor-in Chief and proprietor of the said medium, yesterday, Monday, 18 August, 2014 testified at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, presided over by Magistrate Muhammed Krubally.
During his evidence in chief, the witness said on the 3rd of December 2013, he was at the president’s farm in Batokunku and that in that very week, he was called by the Alkalo’s son, Lamin Bojang, who asked him whether he was aware that the “Voice Newspaper” published that 19 Green Youth members have defected from the APRC to UDP.
The witness told the court that upon receiving the information, he told Bojang that this sounds very strange to him because he (Jassey) went to the town looking for more green youth as it was only eight of them who were at the president’s farm in Batokunku. He said he could not find the others but he was later made to understand by their secretary, Manlafi Bojang, that the other green youth members were in Kanilai, Brikama and Kanfing, respectively.
Counsel for the accused persons, Lamin Camara, asked the witness: “It is correct that you do not actually and personally know about the presence of members of the other 50 green youths in Tanji because you were told by Malafi Bojang that they were else were?”
“Yes,” replied the witness.
“Mr. Jassey, you did not know about what was allegedly reported on the newspaper because Manlafi Bojang told you?” asked counsel.
“Yes,” responded the witness.
“You said you went around looking for more green youths to take them to the farm in Batokunku?”
The witness responded in the affirmative.
“Meaning you drove around town looking for them?” asked counsel.
“Yes, but I didn’t find anyone,” said the witness.
“Is it true Mr. Jassey that apart from what you were told, you know nothing about this case,” asked Counsel Camara.
“Yes,” testified the witness.
A question under re-examination by the prosecution was refused and expunged by the court from the records as it was said to be ambiguous and that the witness was inconsistent in his evidence.
The particulars of offence on count one states that Sainey M.K. Marena and Musa .S. Sheriff, on or about the 6th of December, 2013 in the city of Banjul and diverse places in the republic of the Gambia, conspired among themselves to publish on the Voice newspaper medium caption “19 GREEN YOUTHS JOIN THE OPPOSITION UDP” dated 6th December 2013, Vol-6 No117 ISSN: 0796-1308, thereby committed an offence.
According to the particulars of offence on count two, the same accused persons on or about the 6th of December, 2013 in the city of Banjul and diverse places in the republic of the Gambia, whilst employed as Editor in Chief and reporter respectively at the Voice newspaper medium, you made a publication with a caption “19 GREEN YOUTHS JOIN THE OPPOSITION UDP” dated 6th December 2013, Vol-6 No117 ISSN: 0796-1308, knowing or having reason to believe that the said publication is likely to cause fear to the public or disturb the public peace, thereby committed an offence.
They both pleaded not guilty to the two charges.