Tuesday, June 6

State witness testifies behind curtains

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This came following an application by the state to have the witness, whom state prosecutors said had for a long time been operating undercover, testify in camera in the interest of national security and personal safety.

The application is believed to have been disallowed following an objection from the defence. However, Justice Bassirou V.P. Mahoney has granted permission for the witness to testify behind curtains.

Depending on the circumstances and outcome of the subsequent cross-examination of the witness on Tuesday, the witness might be the last for the prosecution to close its case.

The witness stepped into the court in mask and was led into the witness box, which was shielded with curtains.

Commencing proceedings, the defence urged the prosecution to ask the witness to write his name and occupation on a piece of paper for them to be able to verify who the witness really was. That was eventually done.

Beginning his testimony, the witness recalled that in January and March 2021, Sanna Fadera (first accused person) went to the Joint Services Headquarters in Banjul and passed by his office, telling him that he visited him there to check on him (witness).

Before moving further, the witness said he recognised two of the accused persons, Sanna Fadera and Omar Njie, whom he identified before the court.

“Then I asked him how far he was with his Bachelor’s degree course. He said he had completed and had presented it to the Army Headquarters, but the authorities had not considered him for commission,” the witness told the court.

Proceeding, the witness stated that he was later at one time told by Sanna not to worry. “He said to me: ‘Do not worry, I will become the president and you will be director of intelligence’,” he told the court, adding: “At that juncture, he received a phone call and he said to me ‘I will come back’. He never came back, and I decided to put him in the spotlight. Throughout that period, I was unable to find anything against him.”

The witness told the court that he did monitor Sanna over time but could not find anything and could not establish his external and international links. All he knew, he said, was that Sanna would spend the night in Kiang.

The witness narrated that he later travelled to Turkey, and when he came back, still nothing was found against Sanna.

He elaborated: “On December 12, 2022, I received a phone call from Major Alhagie Njie, being the 1st Provo Martial of the Gambia Armed Forces that he wanted us to meet a source, who had relevant information.

“Later in the evening, he called me and told me I should meet him at Nema Junction [that is]on the highway from the airport to Brusubi Turnaround – the road under construction.

“When I met Alhagie Njie, we went to Major Lamin Njie. Upon arrival, we met Major Lamin Njie with one Captain Momar Jobe (3rd prosecution witness). Then Major Alhagie Njie told Momar Jobe to reveal the information he had.”

Hearing continues.