Judicial employee testifies in NIA 9 trial

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By Mafugie Ceesay

Abibatou Jallow, prosecution witness 35, a resident of Kotu East Layout and an employee of the Judiciary, yesterday told the Banjul High Court that she transcribed the audio interview of the NIA 9 who are standing trial for the murder of Solo Sandeng.
She said this was upon request from the Judicial Secretary Landing M Sanneh.
She said the first audio was a police interview of the NIA 9 personnel, the second one a video of the NIA’s recording of Solo Sandeng and others.

The witness said she inserted the hard drive in a computer which has an express drive (software recorder) which helps to tell the duration of the audio. According to her, she played the audio and listened to it and after completing the transcription, she handed both the transcript and the audio to the Judicial Secretary Landing M Sanneh.
She further narrated that the languages in both the audio and video were Mandinka, Wolof and English.

At this point, the witness was shown an external hard drive for identification but she told the court that she could not confirm if the hard drive was the same one she worked on because all hard drives have the same look and that she did not listen to the content of the one showed to her in court to confirm.
At this point, prosecution lawyer Kombeh Gaye applied to tender the transcripts as exhibits but defence lawyer Christopher Mene objected, arguing that the witness made it clear that all hard drives look the same and that she cannot confirm the hard drive until she listens to its content.

Mene further argued that languages in the audio and video are three, in which case the translation and transcription cannot be the same. He said it cannot be admitted because the witness is not qualified to translate from Mandinka or Wollof to English since a translator has to be sworn first.