MORE WITNESSES TESTIFY IN DARBOE AND CO TRIAL

By Rohey Jadama
At least 3 witnesses yesterday 16 June, 2016 testified in the trialFrom right Momodou Sanneh Fakebba Colley Lamin Dibba Lawyer Darboe Kemeseng Jammeh Femi Peters Aji Suwareh Bojang
involving Mr. Ousainou Darboe, the Party Leader of the United
Democratic Party (UDP) and 19 other members of his party before
Justice Eunice Dada of the Banjul High Court.When the case was called the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Hadi
Saleh Barkun and Ella Rosaline Dugan appeared for the state, while the
accused persons were not represented.
“My lady the matter is slated for continuation of hearing and subject
to your convenience we are ready to proceed. We are ready with PW2
so now it is for the accused persons to cross-examine the witness”, said
the DPP.
However, when Lawyer Darboe was asked whether he has any questions for
PW2 he responded that he has stated his position clear that he
will not participate in this trial to legitimize his pre-arranged
conviction.
At that juncture, the court clerk asked each and every accused person whether they have any questions, however, they stood
up and sat down without uttering a word to the court.
Justice Dada noted that the first accused told the court that he will not
participate in this trial and the 2nd to 20th accused were keeping mute when they were asked. She then recorded that they have  no questions for the witness.
The DPP applied for the witness to be discharged which was granted by the court.
Alagie K. Manneh, testified as the third prosecution witness (PW3).
He told the court that he is a police officer and that he is detective Sergeant 5241 attached to the major crime unit.
He further told the court that he was informed by his commander to
join a team of investigators at the P.I.U headquarters in Kanifing
to record statement of the accused persons.
“I left for the said place, upon arrival the suspects were shown to
the team and then statements were recorded as per our instructions. I
can remember Ismaila Ceesay, Fanta Darboe and Momodou Manneh”, he
said.
He further told the court that he recorded these accused person’s
cautionary and voluntary statements. He said he asked the accused
persons for their particulars and then filled in the statement.
He said he read the cautionary wordings to the trio and told them
that nobody is forcing them to say anything but that anything they say
shall be recorded. He further told the court that he spoke to them in
a language that they understand. He said he spoke to Fanta Darboe in
English but that he spoke to Ismaila Ceesay and Momodou
Manneh in Mandinka. He said he read the recorded statements to them, they confirmed that it is correct and they thumb printed it.
When asked by the DPP whether if he is shown the said statements he
will recognise them, he responded in the positive adding that his name
and signature are on it. A copy was shown to him and he identified it
and the DPP applied to tender it as an exhibit.
However, when Fanta Darboe, Ismaila Ceesay and Momodou Manneh were
asked whether they have any objection to the tendering of the
statements they did not respond to the court clerk.
When Darboe was asked whether he has any objection, he said he does
not know the content of the statements and as such he has no
questions. He also told the court that he will not associate himself
with the proceedings.
The trial judge admitted the said statements as exhibits.
The DPP said in view of the fact that the accused persons have no
questions for the witness, he is applying for the witness to be
discharged which was granted.
The fourth prosecution (PW4) told the court that his name is Domingo
Member. He further told the court that he lives in Churchill town and
that he is an Assistant Superintendent of Police attached to the major
crime unit of the police headquarters. He also told the court that he
is the station officer at the major crime unit.
He further adduced that he knows the accused persons and on the 16 of
April, 2016 he was informed by his commander that Lawyer Darboe and co
gathered at his residence at pipeline to hold a conference. He said
during the course of the investigation he took the voluntary and cautionary statements of Samba Kinteh.
He said he started first with the name of Mr. Kinteh  and his place of
residence and thereafter he read the cautionary wordings to him. He
said from there he started recording his statement and then read it to
him in a language that he understands. He said after accepting that
the words he recorded are correct he thumb printed.
When asked by the DPP whether if he is shown the said statement he
will recognise it, he responded in the positive adding that his name
and signature are on it. A copy was shown to him and he identified it
and the DPP applied to tender it as an exhibit.
However, when the court clerk asked enquired who Samba Kinteh is and whether he is objecting to the tendering of the said
statements, there was no response from him.
The trial judge held that in the absence of any objection from the
accused persons the said statements are admitted as exhibits.
Continuing his Testimony PW4 told the court that during the
investigations they were able to recover stones and broken shields
of the P.I.U officers. When asked by the DPP whether if he came
across those shields and stones he will recognized them, the
witness responded in the positive and added that the shields are white
in colour and police is written on it.
The shields and the stones were brought inside the court and the
witness identified them and the DPP applied to tender them as
exhibits.
When asked whether they have any objection as to the tendering of the
shields and stones, the accused persons were mute.
Justice Dada admitted the said stones and police shields as exhibits.
The Fifth prosecution witness told the court that his name is Lamin
Cham, that he is a police officer attached to the major crime unit of
the police headquarters and that he is a constable.
He further adduced that he knows Femi Peters and Lamin Njie and that he
interacted with them.
He said on the 16 April he was briefed by his commander to join the
panel of investigators. He said they left the police headquarters to
meet the suspects at the P.I.U headquarters in Kanifing.
He said upon arrival he collected the cautionary and voluntary
statements from Femi Peters and Lamin Njie. He said he read the
cautionary wordings to them and later read the cautionary wordings
that was recorded and then he asked them to thumb print it.
He said Mr. Peters signed his statements, while  Mr. Njie thump
printed his statements.
When asked by the DPP whether if he is shown the said statements he
will recognize them, he responded in the positive adding that his name
and signature are on it. A copy was shown to him and he identified it
and the DPP applied to tender it as an exhibit.
However, when Messrs Peters and Njie were   asked whether they have
any objection to the tendering of the said statements, they did not
respond to the court clerk.
The cautionary and voluntary statements of Femi Peters and Lamin Njie
were admitted by the court as exhibits.
When the accused persons were again asked whether they have any
questions for the witness they did not respond to the clerk and the
witness was discharged.
The case was subsequently adjourned till Monday 20 June, 2016 at 12:
noon for continuation of hearing.