Thursday, May 19, 2011

Efry, Rongo’s Trial Progresses

The criminal trial involving Efry Mbye and Momodou Lamin Jarjue alias Rongo on Monday proceeded at Banjul Magistrates’ Court presided over by Magistrate Ade Taiwo Alagbe.
The duo are facing four counts: false information, making false documents, uttering false documents and prohibition of conduct of breaching the peace.
They are alleged to have written to the Secretary General Office of the President, stating that the alkalo of Banjulinding is disuniting the villagers and grabbing lands. Both pleaded not guilty.
Under cross examination,   the Imam of Banjulinding, Yahya Bah informed the court that the current alkalo of his village had his ‘alkaloship’ terminated from the period 2000 to 2007 and later reinstated. 
Asked if Eric and his council of elders were formed when he was not the alkalo, the witness who had earlier said in his testimony that the Imam is always part of the council of elders replied that he did not know anything about that.
“If you were among the council of elders since 2001 how comes you did not know the council of elders’ defense counsel advanced?”
 “I don’t know,” the witness replied, adding that he was appointed by NDEA officials with directive from president Jammeh.
When asked if he got any document to show that they were directed by the President, the witness told the court that he did not have any. It was one Mr. Barry of the NDEA told him that he was instructed by the President, he said.
Mr. Bah denied telling the investigators that there were many mosques in Banjulinding and as a result it is  causing disarray in the village.
“How comes it is in your witness statement,” E. Jah asked defense counsel for Rongo.
But before the witness could replied, the prosecution objected to the question, stating that the document is not before the court.
The document was later shown to him and he confirmed that it as his statement.
However, the prosecutor again objected to the tendering of the statement.
He said the witness did not know what is in the statement.
The defense, in reacting to the prosecution’s objection said the witness admitted that he is the author of the statement and can clarify issues relating to the document.
 Magistrate Alagbe in his ruling said the prosecution’s objection is misconceived and inapplicable, because the witness said it is his statement.
The document was tendered and marked as defense exhibit.
The case resumes 26 May, 2011.

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