By Halimatou Ceesay
Defence Counsel for Yankuba Badjie, C.E Mene has accused the 12th Prosecution witness of testifying against his clients to avoid being charged with Solo Sandeng’s Murder during a cross examination before before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of High Court in Banjul.
The cross examination of the witness which was punctuated with series of objections from the prosecution team which anchored their objections to the 1st accused person’s counsel line of questioning.
The prosecution team led by Antouman A.B. Gaye concurred that the sky is the limit during cross examination but queried that defence counsel Mene was engaging in wild goose chase questions which have no relevance to the issue before the court.
Questions like where the witness got his academic or vocational certificates and the witness claimed that he made the architectural design of a storey building inside the NIA complex in Banjul or the witness qualification on structural or civil engineering, Lawyer Gaye submitted that, such questions have no bearing with the issue before the court but waste of the court time.
However, defence Counsel C.E. Mene’s line of questioning during cross examination aim to discredit the witness by punching him with questions to prove the veracity of his testimony.
Defence Counsel C.E. Mene after making reference to the witness statement where the witness made an allegation regarding the beating of Nogoi Njie, he was then asked that he only came to the court to testify against the nine accused persons in return for him (the witness) not be prosecuted.
This question was met with stiff reply from the prosecution team led by A.A.B. Gaye who argued that Lawyer Mene was making allegation without prove that the prosecution has connive with the witness for him (the witness) to testify against the accused in exchange to avoid being charge with the murder of Solo Sandeng.
The trial judge then said she will not allow the question which is meant to tell the court that the witness in order to avoid being charge and prosecuted made a deal with the prosecution to testify against the accused persons.
In his testimony the witness said that he joined the NIA in 2013 and prior to this he was working in a construction company before joining the NIA.
The witness maintained that he normally stayed for his boss, Omar Bojang to close before he closes from work.
Witness added that one of the reasons he stayed beyond his closing time on the 14th of April, 2016, was due to technical service but not to investigation into the UDP demonstration. “After this I had a problem with Tamba Masireh, the 7th accused person, the I went back to my office and stayed till about 3-4 a.m. before going home”, he explained.
It could be recalled that the nine accused persons: Yankuba Badjie, Louie Richard Leese Gomez, Saihou Omar Jeng, Babucarr Sallah, Yusupha Jammeh, Haruna Susso, Tamba Mansary, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang are charged with 26 counts including conspiracy to murder, assault causing grievous bodily harm, abduction, making false documents without proper authority amongst other.