The erstwhile Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure and former Gambian Ambassador in France, Mr. Ousman Badjie, on Tuesday, 23rdJune 2015, continued his defence before Justice Ateh Abi of the Banjul High Court.
When asked by his counsel Lamin S. Camara whether he will be able to identify the ‘note verbal’ he sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if shown to him, he responded in the positive.
A document was then shown to him and which he identified as the ‘note verbal.’ He added “I attached copies of the diplomatic passports of Faisal Bojang to the verbal note and sent it to the ministry. The note was written in French and it has translation,” said the former ambassador.
Lawyer Camara then applied for the said document to be tender in court as evidence.
However, A.M. Yusuf, state counsel, objected to the application on the grounds that it was just a mere document that has not been certified.
Counsel Camara said the objection was misconceived, as it is not the heading of a document that makes it a public document.
He said the nature of a public document is clearly stated in Section 113 of the Evidence Act, adding that the document was not a public document and therefore did not require to be certified.
The defence counsel added that the document was not a photocopy but the original copy.
In his ruling, the presiding judge overruled the objection of the prosecution, noting that Section 113 clearly defines a public document in the Evidence Act.
“The witness had given evidence of how he wrote the ‘note verbal’ and also translated it, adding that it appeared to him that the document was original,” said Justice Abi.
The presiding judge added that the document was relevant in the evidence of the witness and therefore tendered the document in court as defence exhibit B.
The case will resume on 29thJune 2015 at 11am for continuation of defence.