By Rohey Jadama
Justice Simeon Ateh Abi of the Banjul high court will on 16th July ruled on the admissibility of a document as an exhibit in the trial of the erstwhile Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure and former Gambian Ambassador in France, Mr. Ousman Badjie
In continuing his defence Mr. Badjie told the court that he wrote to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that he started with the report of the deputy Head of Mission and the Director of National Treasury in accordance with financial instruction 341.
“I attached my complaint I lodged to the police as well as the “Note Verbal” and address it to the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Paris. The copy of the forged cheque and a printout of the embassy’s Bank statement and I also quoted the head of mission saying her signature was forged by Faisal Bojang,” said former Ambassador Badjie.
He continued “Having highlighted all this, I recommended to the PS Ministry of Foreign Affairs to tell the Director of National Treasury to report the matter to the Interpol office in Banjul.”
When asked by his counsel Lamin S. Camara whether he will be able to identify the letter he sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if shown to him, he responded in the positive.
The defence applied to tender it as an exhibit. However A.M Yusuf, the state counsel, objected to the tendering of the said document. He argued that the said document was written in French and that the language of the court is English and that it needs to be translated to determine whether it is admissible or not.
He further told the court that the said document and letter which has no name and signature are not originals. He said they are therefore not admissible and urged the court to reject them.
Responding to state counsel Yusuf, Lawyer Lamin S. Camara said the objection is misconceived and urged the court to overrule the objection. ”My learned friend has no right to object to the tendering of this document, even if it is a secondary document. He has been served with a notice to produce documents and the latter is stated in the notice to produce. It is evident even from the letter head that this document is original,” said the defence counsel.
Counsel Camara said the document is translated and the witness has attached the original version to it. He referred the court to 101 sub (1) (a) 11 of the Evidence Act.
The trial judge adjourned the case to 16th July 2015 at 12 noon for ruling on the admissibility of the document.