Magistrate Jabang to Deliver Ruling in Lang Conteh’s Trial

By Mamadou Dem

Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang of Banjul Magistrates Court is expected to deliver ruling on Monday, 7th December, 2015, on whether or not the question put to Lang Conteh by the prosecution in the preceding proceeding was admissible in law.

At the last adjourned date, police prosecutor sub-inspector Alpha Badjie said to the witness “I further put it to you that you were convicted for the offence of economic crime at the High Court?”

LaminMboge, the defence counsel representing Mr. Conteh objected to the question and asked the court to refuse such a question being put to his client.

When the case resumed Thursday for the prosecution to reply to the defence objection, Sub-Inspector Badjie argued that the question he put to the accused person was proper.  He said the counsel for the accused person cited section 189 of the Evidence Act. “We submit that counsel has misconceived that section. This is not our witness and we are on cross-examination and our role is to discredit evidence given by the witness,” said the prosecuting officer.

He then referred the court to section 189, 192 of the Evidence Act, adding that the court has discretion to allow the evidence or disallowed it.

Barrister Mboge, in reply, submitted that section 189 (2) is preceeded by section 189 (1) of the said Act, adding that section 192 must be read together with section 189 and section 189 Sub (3) which is applicable in this case. He said cross-examination is limited by section 189 of the same Act.

“I urged the court to discount the reply,” lawyer Mboge submitted.

The case was adjourned to today, 7th December, for ruling.

Mr. Conteh is standing trial on a single count charged of “Theft” contrary to the laws of the Gambia.

According to the particulars of offence, the  accused sometimes in 2012-2013 respectively, in the city of Banjul, stole the sum of “one million five hundred and thirty eight thousand eight hundred and four dalasis ninety-five bututs (D1,538,804.95) being the property of Kanilai Family Farm and thereby committed an offence.

He denied any wrong doing.