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City of Banjul
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Ex-state counsel refuses to answer question in Jobarteh trial

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Ms Dibba was asked by defence lawyer Borry Touray what procedures she told a complainant to follow after her former boss, Lamin Jobarteh had advised her to withdraw a case which was before the court. While serving as state counsel, Ms Dibba handled a case but she was later asked by then attorney general Jobarteh to withdraw the case and destroy the evidence without due process of the law. State prosecutors now say that was tantamount to abuse of office and destruction of evidence, charges Mr Jobarteh denied.

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Ms  Dibba who served as the state’s star witness acknowledged the facts of the story maintaining  that she was just acting under the directive of her former boss but she also seized the opportunity to advise the complainant about other procedures he could follow. But even after constant demands by the defence lawyer, Ms Dibba would not tell the court about the procedures she advised the complainant to follow.

Lawyer Touray who seemed to be unhappy with Ms Dibba’s responses, then complained to the court that the witness was avoiding his questions and urged the court to compel her to answer the questions to enable the court to make progress.

Responding to defence submission, state counsel Maurice Agiah submitted that it was on record that the witness had never failed to answer any questions put to her by the defence. He argued that the defence could not put a question to the witness and dictate the manner the witness was supposed to answer.

According to the state counsel, the witness had answered the questions to the best of her ability and the answers given did not retard the defence in the case.

“If the answers given by the witness were not satisfactory to the defence, the defence has an option to bring it in their final address,” Mr Agiah posited.

He then appealed to the court for determination. The matter was adjourned to May 14 for ruling.

 

By Baba Sillah 

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