By Rohey Jadama
Justice Basiru Mahoney of the Banjul high court on Wednesday 17 February, 2016 admitted the Auditor General’s Report for identification purposes in the ongoing criminal trial involving Mr. Famara Dampha, former Fisheries Director, Mr. Abdoulie Njie, Senior Fisheries Assistant, and Musa Jawla, Assistant Fisheries Officer.
When the case was called, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) announced his representation for the state, while Lawyer Batchily appeared for Mr. Njie and Mr. Jawla and also held brief for lawyers Hawa Sisay-Sabally and Lamin S. Camara, defence counsels for Mr. Dampha.
In a lengthy ruling regarding the admissibility of the report, Justice Mahoney said notwithstanding the fact that the prosecution has not complied with section 40 of the Evidence Act, he will in the interest of justice admit it for identification purposes, adding that if the prosecution wishes they can appeal against the ruling.
At this stage, the DPP showed a document to Mr. Abdourahman Jobe, a witness, and who identified it as the second fold of the Auditor General’s Report.
The DPP applied to tender the said document as an exhibit but defence counsel Bachilly maintained his earlier objection as to its non- admissibility as an exhibit.
However, the trial judge also maintained his earlier ruling and admitted the said document as ID 2.
At this stage, the DPP told the court that they wish to apply for an adjournment because they want to tender another document which they have not yet served to the defence team.
Without an objection from the defence team, the case was subsequently adjourned to Tuesday, 23 February, 2016 for the case to proceed from 3pm-4pm.