By Rohey Jadama
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution has yesterday 9 November, 2016 amended Charges in the case of Sira Wally Ndow Njai and others by adding Mr. Madun Sanyang. The trial, before Justice Otaba of the Special Criminal Division of the Banjul High Court is in connection to the Gambia National Petroleum Company.
This brings the total number of accused persons in this trial to ten. 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.
Continuing his cross-examination Lawyer Chime defence counsel for Momodou Muntanga Sabally, asked Mr. Bakary Darboe PW1 whether he told the court that he obtained a cautionary statement from the 6th accused person. The witness responded in the positive.
When asked whether that statement is exhibit D, the witness responded in the positive. At this stage the witness was instructed to read six lines from the exhibit to the court, which he did.
Chime remarked, “I’m putting it to you that the 6th accused was dismissed as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Petroleum before the signing of the contract leading to the case?” “That’s not correct answered the witness.
Chime said, “In the process of your investigation were you able to see the dismissal letter of the 6th accused person before this contract was signed?” Witness answered, “No I can’t remember seeing it”.
Chime asked, “Do you know whether any member of the panel saw it or demanded for his dismissal letter?” Witness answered, “I don’t know that”.
At this juncture Lawyer Chime told the court that, that’s all for the witness.
Also cross-examining the witness defence Counsel Mene asked the witness whether the response he gave Lawyer Tambedou that the answers on the statement of the accused persons is the response to questions in the questionnaire, he enquired whether that is the case for his client as well. The witness responded in the positive.
Menne said, “It is correct that each of the paragraphs numbered 1-12 is an answer to questions that was posed to the 7th accused?” Witness answered, “That’s correct. At this point the witness was instructed to read paragraph 12 of the statement of the 7th accused person, which he did.
Menne asked, “What was the question posed to the accused do you remember?” Witness answered, “No I can’t remember”. Menne remarked, “Look at Paragraph 8 and read it I have a follow up question. Can you tell the court what elicited this answer?” Witness answered, “I can’t remember”.
Menne noted, “Answer number 5 what was the question?” He replied, “I can’t remember. Menne said, “The answers in exhibit E that the 7th accused gave you answers to, did your panel investigate his response?” Witness replied, “It is as a result of our investigation that these questions were raised”.
Menne remarked, “So it is correct that after the questions were raised you did not do any investigation regarding the answers?” Witness replied, “We did not investigate the answers.”
At this juncture Lawyer Mene told the court that that will be all for the witness.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) stood up and applied for the charges to be amended to include Mr. Madun Sanyang in the case.
Without any objection from the defence counsels, Justice Otaba granted the DPP’s application to amend the charges. He ordered that the counts be read to the accused person to take their plea.
At this stage Mr. Sanyang was escorted to the dock by a prison officer and counts 1 and 3 which are Economic Crime and Conspiracy to commit Felony respectively were read to the accused persons and they all pleaded not guilty.
While adjourning the case, Justice Otaba held that application to recall PW1 for further examination in chief, cross-examination is granted as prayed and he subsequently adjourned the case till today 10 November, 2016 at 3-4pm for continuation of hearing.