In NIA 9 case, Court ordered Witness to bring Academic Certificate

By Halimatou Ceesay

Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of Banjul High Court has today March 6th ordered the 12th prosecution witness Malang Sonko in the ongoing Solo Sandeng Murder Case involving former officials of the defunct National Intelligence Agency now State Intelligence Service to bring his Academic Certificate to court on Wednesday 7th March, if he can find it.

Late Solo Sandeng

The order came after Counsel Lamin Fatty the legal aid counsel representing the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th accused persons requested for the court to order the witness to bring his academic certificate that he presented to the NIA for the job he is doing there. “Let the court order the witness to bring his Brikama Secondary School Certificate and Dada Construction Certificate because he (the witness) is working at the NIA and speak in Mandinka in court,” Counsel Fatty said.

Objecting to the application the lead Prosecutor Senior Counsel Gaye told the court that Pw12 was in court to testify and was asked during cross examination if he is a drop out and he said no but that counsel Fatty did not ask this witness if he is a drop out. Therefore he said Counsel Fatty is on a fishing expedition.

The trial judge said it is not an issue before the court but since the witness has declared that if the documents are found he will bring them, then she will grant the application in the interest of justice. The witness was then asked to bring the certificate tomorrow 7th March, 2018 if the document is found.

The witness was then interposed and prosecutor witness 13 Mbemba Camara was called to the dock to testify. Before he was sworn in, Counsel Mene for the 1st accused Yankuba Badjie interjected and brought to the attention of the court that this was the very witness that was sitting in court during proceedings and was cautioned, warned and sent out of court by the judge. Mene also said it was brought to his attention by his client that the same witness was seen in court during last Wednesday’s hearing. Mene said he would like this to be on record.

However the trial judge Kumba Sillah-Camara told him that when the witness was seen in court and cautioned by her that was recorded already on the very day. She said but for what counsel said that his client brought to his attention that the same witness was seen in court and the counsel failed to bring it to the attention of the court at the material time means that it does not happen because the court is not aware of it and she cannot record that.

Testifying as the 13th Prosecution witness, Mbemba Camara said that he is a security officer and a shift leader at the NIA now SIS for 11 to 12 years now.

“I am responsible for the detainees, when they comes in we record their details, screen them at the main gate and take anything in their possession from them. Taking them in and out of the cell also includes my job”, he said.

He told the court that it was his boss James Mendy who appointed him as shift leader.

When asked by the prosecutor L.S Camara how many of them were on duty on the 14th April, 2016, the witness said he cannot remember all of them but he (witness) and one Seedy Saidybah were at the main gate and another one was behind.

Hearing continues tomorrow.

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