Defence cross-examines state witness in coup trial

Defence cross-examines state witness in coup trial

Defence Counsel L.S. Camara on Tuesday cross-examined state witness, Mamad Jobe, who last week testified in the trial of alleged coup plotters proceeding at the High Court of The Gambia.

The accused are: Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera, Sergeant Gibril Darboe, Corporal Ebrima Sannoh, Corporal Omar Njie of the Gambia Armed Forces and Police Sub-inspector Fabakary Jawara. They were indicted last month on charges of treason, concealment of treason and incitement to mutiny.

Cross-examining the witness, Counsel Camara asked the witnesses whether it was correct that one Dawda Komma said he was always in possession of a knife, which the witness affirmed.

“Did you write that in your statement,” the defence counsel further asked; and the witness said yes.

When asked to show where he stated that in his statement (exhibit D4), the witness stated: “On page 5, the last sentence. He quoted from his statement in which he wrote ‘anywhere I see Lance Corporal Sana Fadera, I will fight him,’ he added.

Witness further read from his statement that Komma further told him that anywhere he sees him (Fadera), he would stab him as he is always in possession of a knife.

The defence further asked the witness, who claimed to have told the first accused (Fadera) that:  ‘you cannot do that. This idea is unpopular.’ However, when asked whether he wrote that in his statement, the witness said he could not remember everything he wrote in his statement.

“Now you wrote your statement on the 29th of December. You testified first in court on 21st February 2023. Between the 29th of December and February is almost 2 months, when is the information supposed to refresh in your mind,” Defence asked.

State Prosecutor A.M. Yusuf objected to the question, saying that the opinion of the witness is not necessary and the question makes the answer subjective. Thus, he said it is irrelevant.

Counsel Camara countered saying: “We are dealing with a witness who consistently said he cannot remember, even with the statement before him.”

The question is relevant, he said, adding that it is to test the veracity of what the witness said. My Lord, we are testing the accuracy, veracity and credibility of the witness. My Lord, it is on record that he remembers the facts on 21st February but cannot remember on the day he wrote the statement.

Thus, Justice Mahoney overruled the objection of Prosecutor Yusuf.

Counsel asked again as to when the information is supposed to refresh in the witness’s mind between 29th of December, when he wrote exhibit D4 (statement), and the 21st of February, when he gave his evidence in chief before the court. Later he noted he might not have remembered everything whilst he was writing the statement.

Source: The Point

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