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City of Banjul
Sunday, September 20, 2020

Judge orders witness to apologise to Sabally’s lawyer

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The judge expressed his umbrage at the behaviour of Mr Sheikh Omar Bah and ordered him to step down from the dock and apologise to lawyer Antouman Gaye. “Why are you behaving like that? Go to him and say you are sorry. Don’t you know he (lawyer) has a privilege in this court?” the judge reprimanded. Mr Bah obeyed and apologised to the lawyer.

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Earlier, before the incident, the judge cautioned Mr Bah who appeared at the court. “Why do you have to keep everybody waiting? The judge queried. In reply, Mr Bah said he was informed by the prosecutor that the matter was schedule for 1:30pm. The judge then directed his ire at the prosecutor telling him that he was blaming the witness when in fact he [the prosecutor] was the cause of the delay.

The prosecutor, AM Yusuf, had earlier told the judge that Mr Bah informed him that the matter was schedule for 1:30 and that he was on the way coming. Justice Amadi who was not pleased sarcastically said: “He [witness Bah] is our master; we will have to wait for him. I don’t fancy this kind of nonsense. If you go to Europe, they work as if they are dying. I don’t want to adjourn the case. You can get me a pillow, let me lie down. Let me start sleeping until the witness comes,” the judge said.

Mr Sabally’s lawyer intervened and told the court: “The last thing my lord could do is to sit and wait for a witness. There are certain applications the prosecutor can make not to keep the court waiting.”

As if on cue, Mr Bah marched into the courtroom and was consequently cautioned by the judge not to keep the court waiting again.

Continuing his cross-examination, Mr Bah said Sabally told him “angrily” over the phone that he would return the cars to Mr Ndoye, “because he did not want to lose his job”.  Sabally’s lawyer interjected saying his client never said the cars should be returned to Mr Ndoye. But Bah maintained that that was what Sabally said. 

Gaye further pressed: “I put it to you that he spoke to you angrily because you told him Mr Ndoye was asking for payment for the cars when the cars to your knowledge were for donation.” Responding, Mr Bah said he never talked about the payments with Sabally.

Bah said he was confronted by Sabally at the National Intelligence Agency and it was videotaped. He said he told the investigators that he went to Dakar to discuss the sale of the cars with Mr Ndoye but did not inform Sabally.

“But I thought you told the court that the cars were supposed to be sold to the president?” Gaye asked but Bah replied: “Yes, but it was difficult to get access to Sabally. He did not allow me to talk about the cars. Whenever he speaks, I don’t say anything because of the respect I have for him.”

Gaye further asked: “Did you not tell the investigators at the NIA that Sabally sent you to Dakar to Mr Ndoye”. In reply, Bah admitted saying that at the NIA. When told he never mentioned that in his evidence, Bah said: “I was not asked.”

The case was adjourned to December 18 for continuation of cross-examination.

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