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City of Banjul
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

GRA boss quizzed in ex-Justice minister’s case

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However he admitted that most of the people indicted by the inquiry had filed appeals at the court of appeal.  He said he was not a signatory to the revenue authority account and that tax is now being collected based on the recommendations of the task force set up after the commission of enquiry.

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Mr Trawally was answering questions from Jobarteh’s counsel, Borry Touray at the High Court in Banjul. The former minister is already serving a two-year jail term after being convicted by the Special Criminal Court Division of the high court. He is now standing trial on three count of false information and economic crime.

He is accused of recklessly causing monetary loss to GRA by constituting a taskforce which re-assessed and reviewed downward the tax liability of several tax defaulters as found by the Tax Commission.

State prosecutors charged Mr Jobarteh with lying to the Office of the President that over D200 million had been recovered from the tax defaulters and deposited into the GRA account at Guaranty Trust Bank. He denied any wrong doing.

“Did you press any queries when you received a letter from the office of the Justice Minister?” Touray quizzed. “I did not,” CG Trawally replied.  He said he was also not aware if queries were raised by the Ministry of Finance.

The question whether a copy was sent to the office of Secretary General was disallowed by the judge, Makailu Abdulahi.

However, the witness said the letter sent to people who appeared before the commission of enquiry came from the Ministry of Justice and was signed by Pa Harry Jammeh, the then solicitor-general.

Trawally said there was no “direct” correspondence from his office to the office of the secretary general. “There was correspondence from my office to the permanent secretary of Finance, but I cannot remember how many times,” he said. 

The case resumes on May 21.

 

By Binta A Bah

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