Former Justice minister tries to discredit state witness


Mr Jobarteh made this request yesterday before Justice Mikailu Abdullah at the high court in Banjul during his cross- examination of Musa Jarju who claimed he was assigned to obtain cautionary statement from Mr Jobarteh but could not remember the date the accused was detained at the NIA. 

Mr Jarju who claimed that he was a police officer attached to the NDEA headquarters at Fajara and is now working as a narcotics officer told the court: “I could not remember how many statements I recorded from the accused neither the time of arrest and detention of the accused at the NIA. Yes, I have recorded a statement from the accused in Tubanding village in Central River Region in relation to this case but I could not recall  whether the statement was obtained from him at his compound in Bansang in relation to this case as alleged by the accused.” 

He said the records were kept in their office.  Jobarteh then applied for the station diary and diary of actions to be produced for the purpose of cross-examination.  But the state prosecutor, Oumie Danso, objected arguing that there should be a notice for the production of these documents citing various sections from the Evidence Act to support her objection. She argued that the witness did not have the power and authority over the said documents. 


Replying on points of law, Jobarteh pointed out that the question of whether the witness did not have control over the said documents does not arise at this point but the matter was that, the said documents were kept at the NIA where he was detained.

“The only way for the witness to remember the dates is for him to go through the station diary or diary of action as he could not remember any of these dates when he recorded statements from me during my detention,” Jobarteh said quoting sections of the law. 

At that point he requested for a copy of the Constitution of The Gambia. He argued that it is the right of an accused to be given every facility and opportunity to prepare for his or her defence, citing the constitution. 

He further submitted that the witness was not a credible witness and that was the reason he was applying for the production of the documents so as to discredit the witness. 

However, after going through submission of the accused and the state, the trial judge overruled Mr Jobarteh’s application for “lack of merits”. Hearing resumes April 8.


By Baba Sillah