By Binta A Bah
The High Court in Banjul has finally admitted a flash drive containing an audio purported to be a conversation between former permanent secretary, ministry of fisheries Bamba Banja and a Chinese interpreter, Ming Ning.
Bamba Banja is accused of accepting bribe from a Chinese private company. He denied the allegation.
His lawyer, Abdoulie Fatty, had challenged the tendering of the flash drive containing the audio which the prosecutor, Saikou Lamin Jobarteh had sought to tender through an investigative journalist Mustapha K. Darboe of Malagen, testifying as prosecution’s fifth witness. The audio was briefly played in court in March where Fatty argued that the said audio was rejected by the same court.
However, the judge in his ruling held that the court cannot conclude that the contents of the flash drive and the CD disk are the same, since the CD was never played in court.
“It is my view and I hold such firmly that the fact that the court has earlier rejected a compact disk purporting to have the same content with the flash drive sought to be tendered herein automatically makes the flash drive inadmissible,” the judge said before admitting the flash drive into evidence.
It could be recalled that the same judge in January rejected prosecution’s request to tender and play the audio following the prosecutor’s attempt to tender a compact disc. He had also rejected a downloaded investigative report published by journalist Darboe.
Meanwhile, Darboe has ended giving testimony in the trial.