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City of Banjul
Friday, September 25, 2020

Sabally trial: Torrid time for witness

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Antouman Gaye said the state witness allegation that Mr Ndoye brought the cars from Senegal to sell to President Jammeh was not true. “I’m putting it to you that those cars were brought for donation to the president and not for sale.” 

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Responding, Bah said Mr Ndoye did not tell him that. However, he admitted that there was no price stated in the proposal for the sale of the cars when the lawyer asked. “Is it not unusual that Mr Ndoye was selling the cars and no price was mentioned,” Gaye further quizzed but Bah said he did not know. “Mr Ndoye gave me a proposal without a price,” Bah replied.

“I’m putting it to you that no price was mentioned because those cars were not for sale to the president,” Gaye said. The witness did not respond and his silence prompted Justice Amadi to ask him if he was afraid, to which Bah replied: “No, I’m not used to this.” This made the judge to ask him, “Since you were born, you did know something like court? Everyone in this court including journalists wants to hear you.”

Asked what was Mr Sabally’s response when he accompanied Mr Ndoye to Mr Sabally’s house to tell him they wanted to sell the cars to President Jammeh, Bah replied that Sabally “just inspected the cars”. The judge then asked him: “Are you telling me the accused’s mouth was sealed when he was told the cars were for sale to the president?  Do you think we are robots? We are also human beings. What did he say?’ 

Bah explained: “Mr Sabally spoke about America with Mr Ndoye. Mr Ndoye told him that he was also in America. Then we went out for the inspection of the cars.” He said Mr Ndoye is a Senegalese and came to The Gambia to sell the two cars to President Jammeh.

The case was then adjourned to December 8 for continuation of cross-examination.

Sabally, 40, is on trial on eight charges of two economic crimes, three counts of abuse of office, two counts of neglect of official duty and one count of giving false information. He is accused of giving false information to President Jammeh that one Alasan Ndoye had given him two vehicles with intent to annoy and cause financial loss to Mr Ndoye, information he knew was false. 

He is also accused of causing economic loss to Social Security & Housing Finance Corporation in the amount of D402,500 by unduly influencing SSHFC. Prosecutors further accused Mr Sabally of causing economic loss to the government of The Gambia in the amount of D38,424 being money received as per diem allowance for a trip to South Africa in order to attend the inauguration ceremony of President Jacob Zuma, which he neglected to attend. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

He was released on bail last week after four months in state custody.

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