By Rohey Jadama
Lawyer Sheriff Marie Tambedou yesterday 3rd October, 2016 continued his cross-examination of Chief Inspector Bakary Darboe, the first prosecution witness (PW1) in the ongoing trial involving Mrs. Sira Wally Ndow Njai and 8 other officials in the Gambia National Petroleum Company(GNPC) case which is before Justice Otaba of Banjul High Court.
The other accused persons are Momodou O.S. Badjie, Fafa Sanyang, Cherno Marena, Seedy Kanyi, Muntaga Momodou Sallah, Momodou Faal, Louie Moses Mendy and Noah Touray.
They are being tried on charges of Economic Crimes, Conspiracy to commit felony, neglect of official duty, disobedience of statutory duty, and destroying evidence, they however denied any wrong doing.
Responding to questions from Lawyer Tambedou, Chief Inspector Darboe told the court that defence exhibit 1 was prepared by Baboucarr Njie, the current Managing Director of GNPC.
When asked whether the police did a tabulation of their own in this investigation, the witness responded in the negative. When asked whether the police have an accountant, he responded in the positive.
“Officer Darboe on the 26th August 2016 when you posed a question to the first accused which resulted to exhibit A, the first accused has already been brought to court?” asked Lawyer Tambedou. “Yes, that’s true,” responded the witness.
Counsel remarked, “The first accused in her statement has denied and has always denied the charges levied against her?” He replied, “Yes that’s correct”.
At this juncture, lawyer Tambedou told the court that’s all he has for the witness.
Also cross-examining the witness was Lawyer Lamin S. Camara, the counsel for Momodou O.S Badjie, Fafa Sanyang, Seedy Kanyi and Noah Touray.
“Mr. Darboe you told the court that you looked at defence exhibit 1 during your investigation to arrive at the losses incurred by GNPC is that correct?” asked Lawyer Camara. “Yes, sir,” answered the witness.
Camara said, “Mr Darboe, personally are you an accountant?” He answered, “No, I’m not.” Counsel asked, “Which of the investigating officers is an Accountant?” He answered, “I don’t know.”
Counsel added, “Have a look at defence exhibit 1. Did you seek the interpretation or explanation from anybody or anywhere?” Witness responded, “Yes my lord from the author of the document.”
Counsel said, “Mr Darboe, have a look at the document and show me where the name and signature of the author is appended?” He replied, “There is no name and signature in it.”
Counsel remarked, “During the course of the investigation did you interrogate Mr. Badjie?” He responded, “Yes.”
Counsel asked, “Did you obtain any statements from him?” He replied, “Yes.”
Counsel asked, “Do you have the statement with you?” He replied, “No, Sir.” Counsel asked, “Have a look at exhibit B. When and where was it recorded?” He responded, “On the 25 August, 2016. I don’t know exactly where it was recorded but I think it was recorded at the NIA.”
Counsel remarked, “Is it correct that Mr. Badjie was responding to questions you were asking him?” He replied, “That’s correct, my lord.”
Counsel added, “Is it also correct that the exhibit is pursuant to a substantive cautionary statement taken earlier on?” He responded, “Yes, Sir.”
Counsel asked, “Did you record the substantive cautionary statement taken prior to this statement?” He replied, “No Sir.”
Counsel asked, “Do you know who did?” He replied, “No, I don’t know.”
Counsel said, “Have a look at page 2 question number 3.Would you recall the question to which he replied to?” He responded, “No, Sir.”
Counsel added, “What about the answer to question number 4 in exhibit B, can you remember that?” He replied, “No, Sir.”
Counsel asked, “Do you know the 5th and 9th accused persons, Seedy Kanyi and Noah Touray?” He replied, “No, Sir.”
At this stage, Lawyer Yassin Senghore, counsel for Cherno Marena, started the cross- examination of the witness.
“Mr. Darboe, at the last adjourned date, you gave evidence that you were part of the second investigation?” He replied, “I said I was part of the second team not the second investigation.”
Yassin asked, “Was there a report prepared by the first team?” He replied, “No.”
Yassin added, “Do you know the members of the first team?” He responded, “Yes, they are Alagie A.K. Manneh, Bakary Drammeh, Mustapha Ceesay and the fourth guy Fatty. I only know his last name.”
Yassin added, “Is it correct that your investigation team was only involved after charges were filed against the accused persons?” He replied, “I don’t know when charges were filed.”
Yassin remarked, “Mr. Darboe, you said your team started investigation sometime late July, early August?” He responded, “Yes, I said so”.
Counsel asked, “Is it correct that the accused persons were taken to the Banjul Magistrates’ Court on the 22 June, 2016?” He replied, “I don’t know, so I cannot confirm that.”
Yassin asked, “Is it correct that exhibit C was recorded on 27 August, 2016?” He replied, “Yes, my lord.”
Counsel asked, “Is it correct that the accused person responded to question 1-12 in exhibit C?” He responded, “That’s correct.”
Counsel remarked, “The questions the 4th accused was responding to are they the same as the questionnaire you said was in the case file?” He replied, “Yes, Sir”.
At this juncture, Justice Otaba adjourned the case to the following dates 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th November, 2016 at 3pm-4pm respectively for continuation of cross-examination of PW1.