Ousman Badjie’s trial fails to proceed

By Rohey Jadama

The ongoing trial involving Ousman Badjie, the former Minister of Works, Transport Ousman Badjieand Construction, did not proceed yesterday, 29th January, 2015 before Justice Simon Abi of the Banjul High Court.

The case was scheduled for 2pm, but the court room was closed when the defendant and family members as well as media were there. Both the trial judge and clerk were not around to explain whether the case was adjourned and when is the next sitting.

Ousman Badjie was charged with one count of “economic crime” and two counts of “negligence to perform duty” and arraigned on the 8th November, 2014 at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court. The case was later transferred to the high court in Banjul. He denied any wrong doing.

Two witnesses have so far testified for the prosecution in the trial.

According to the particulars of offence on Count One, Ousman Badjie between 14 and 30 June 2014 in Banjul and diverse places, whilst being The Gambia’s Head of Mission in France, intentionally failed to pursue the case of a stolen Twenty Seven Thousand Euros equivalent to D1, 134,000, involving one Faisal Bojang, with the French Government, an omission which was shown to be detrimental to the economy of The Gambia, and thereby committed an offence.

Count Two alleges that whilst serving as the Head of Mission in France, he willfully neglected to perform his duty for the French Government to pursue Faisal Bojang, to recover the amount of €27,000 embezzled (equivalent to D1, 134,000).

On Count Three, it is alleged that in the same month and year, Mr. Badjie, whilst being The Gambia’s Head of Mission in France, willfully neglected to perform his duty to pursue the police declaration that the signature of the Deputy Head of Mission was forged.