Friday, August 10, 2012
“Prosecution Fabricated Charges to Annoy The President”
The Special Criminal Court in Banjul on Monday heard that the accusation that former police chief and two top military officers named President Yahya Jammeh in their alleged illicit drug trade, were fabricated.
Dismissed top army officer, Major Kuluteh, said the Gambia’s Nigerian-born former chief prosecutor, Richard Chenge, put the president’s name in the charge to invite President Jammeh’s wrath upon them.
Major Manneh, who adduced this in court, was being cross-examined by the chief prosecutor, H. Barkum.
Alongside his former boss Lt Colonel Mam Matarr Secka, and ex-police chief Ensa Badjie, Manneh is on trial on 51 counts, including abuse of office, corruption, economic crime, drugs and related charges.
The three former top security men are also accused of sedition when they allegedly claimed that the illicit drugs they were allegedly trading were given to them by President Jammeh to sell.
In denying the allegation, Manneh told the judge: ‘If you check the nature of the charges, you can see fabrication from the side of prosecution. The prosecution put the name of president in the charge sheet only to annoy him against us.”
The prosecutor however maintained that Manneh did conspire with Badjie and Secka to commit sedition by telling lies that the president had given them drugs to sell.
“If that was true the prosecution would have produced those witnesses in the court,” Manneh countered.
Author: Binta A Bah