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Fisheries DPS declared hostile witness in Banja’s trial

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By Binta A Bah

The High Court presiding over the case of former permanent secretary at fisheries ministry has rejected the entire evidence of Malang Darboe, the current deputy PS, declaring him a hostile witness.

Mr Darboe was subpoenaed last week to testify against his former boss after the prosecutor said he refused their request to testify. His current boss, Omar Gibba testified last week.

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When the audio purported to be a conversation between Bamba Banja and a Chinese interpreter, Ming Ning was played in court for Darboe to  identify Banja’s voice,  he said he couldn’t as he’s not a voice identification expert.

The prosecutor, Saikou Lamin Jobarteh who was not happy with Darboe’s response, at this point urged the court to treat him as a hostile witness so that he could cross-examine him. The request was granted and at the end, Darboe’s evidence was expunged as the judge concluded that he came to court with a premeditated mind.

Banja is on trial on three charges of economic crimes, official corruption and public officers receiving property to show favour. He is accused of engaging in corrupt practices by receiving money from the proprietors of Golden Lead Company Limited in September 2018 to free their vessel from detention which was engaged in illicit fishing.

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He denied the allegations.

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