Defence Continues Cross-Examination of Police Detective in GNPC Trial

By Rohey Jadama

Lawyer Ebrima Sanneh, Attorney for Momodou O.S Badjie, Fafa Sanyang, Seedy Kanyi, Noah Touray and Madun Sanyangmomodou-o-s-badjie yesterday 28 November 2016 continued the cross-examination of   detective Sergeant   Alagie K. Manneh in the ongoing trial of Gambia National Petroleum Company staff (GNPC).

The   accused persons are Sira Wally Ndow_Njai, Momodou O.S Badjie, Fafa Sanyang, Cherno Marena,    Seedy   Kanyi, Muntaga Momodou Sallah, Momodou Faal, Louie Moses Mendy, Noah Touray and Madun Sanyang.

When the case was called before Justice Otaba of the Special Criminal Division of the Banjul High Court, the   Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appeared for the state, while Lawyer Antouman AB Gaye, Sheriff  Marie Tambedou, and Omar MM Njie  announced their representation for Mrs-Ndow-Njai, Lawyer E-Sanneh appeared for the   2nd,   3rd,5th  ,8th,9th and 10 defendants, Lawyer A.N.D Bensouda, Rachel Y.Mendy and Yassin Senegore appeared for the 4th accused, Lawyer E. Chime for the 6th accused and C.E Mene, S. Taal and S. Sillah for the 7thaccused.

They are being tried on charges of Economic Crime, Conspiracy to commit Felony, neglect of official duty, disobedience of statutory duty, and destroying evidence, they however denied any wrong doing.

When the witness was asked by Lawyer Sanneh  whether he told the court in his last testimony that he has been a police officer for seven years, he responded in the positive.

The witness further told the court that he   recorded the cautionary statement of Mr. Badjie.

When asked by Lawyer Sanneh whether he informed the court that it is a requirement to have his name on the cautionary statement, the witness responded in the positive.

At this juncture, Exhibit K1 which is a cautionary statement of Mr. Badjie was given to the witness and he was told to show the court where his name was written on it. The witness responded that he earlier told the court that his name is only on K5.

“Mr. Manneh are you familiar with the investigation leading to the arrest of the 2nd defendant?” asked Lawyer Sanneh. “I am not part of the investigation, I only recorded the statements”, responded the witness.

Counsel asked, “Mr. Manneh as you claimed to have cautioned the 2nd accused, do you know the circumstances that led to his arrest?” Witness replied, “I cannot remember that, my task was only to record the statements”.

“Mr. Manneh if you cannot remember the circumstances that led to the arrest of the 2nd defendant how can you be certain that you accorded him his rights”, enquired defence counsel Sanneh?”. Witness answered, “The investigation team will be able to tell as I was only assigned to record statements”.

“Mr. Manneh have you ever worked for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA)?” asked lawyer Sanneh. “I am a traditional police and an original officer”, responded the witness. This evoked laughter in the courtroom.

When asked whether he was present at the NIA at the time the 2nd accused was arrested, the witness responded that he was told to meet them at the NIA.

“Mr. Manneh do you want this court to believe that a detective Sergeant   will record a statement of a high profile person as the 2nd defendant in the offices of the NIA?” asked Barrister Sanneh.

He replied, “I recorded it at the NIA”.

“Mr. Manneh, is this the reason why your name is not on the cautionary statements of the 2nd defendant because those statements were recorded by intelligent officers at the NIA and not you?” enquired Lawyer Sanneh. “These statements bear the logo of the Gambia Police Force and they are recorded by police officers”, responded the witness.

Counsel asked, “Are you saying that anyone who works at the police or security could have recorded the statement of the 2nddefendant?”

“As far as this issue is concerned all statements that bear the police logo are recorded by myself and others”, answered the witness.

At this juncture the case was adjourned till today 29 November, 2016 at 3-4pm for continuation of hearing.