27 C
City of Banjul
Saturday, January 16, 2021

Sabally’s lawyer quizzes VP’s protocol officer

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Musa Sinyan, the state’s fifth witness admitted that he was the head of protocol that travelled to the rainbow nation with the vice president.

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 “You had told this court that when the accused person had not arrived at the airport in South Africa, the vice president and the protocols agreed to wait for him to arrive when you were set to depart to The Gambia,” Antouman Gaye asked. Mr Sinyan while denying saying that in court replied: “I did not say the VP and the protocols agreed to wait for Sabally.”

“Who decided that you should wait for Mr Sabally?” Gaye further pressed but the witness said he cannot give the name in court. Intervening, the presiding judge Emmanuel Amadi asked the witness why he could not give a particular name in court. Replying, Mr Sinyan said: “Because nobody told me to wait for Sabally. When it was discovered that Sabally was not on board, the VP asked why were we waiting and I answered that we were waiting for Sabally but she did not make any comment.”

Gaye further quizzed Sinyan: “So why were you waiting for him when it was known that it was 8pm that you should leave? Responding, Mr Sinyan said: “This is because when I told the VP that Sabally was not yet on board, she kept quiet and I too kept quiet. I cannot make the decision whether the plane should take off or wait for him.” Earlier during his testimony, Sinyan said the incident took place when he travelled with the vice president and delegation to attend the inaugurations of President Jacob Zuma and the Thabo Mbeki Foundation in Johannesburg.

According to Mr Sinyang he was staying in the same hotel with Sabally. However, Sinyan said Sabally did not show up on the day of inauguration of President Jacob Zuma. “We waited for Honourable Sabally but he did not show up. We then left with VP for the ceremony,” he added.

Mr Sinyan said he was informed by Ndey Haddy Jeng that they will leave for Banjul at 8pm when he returned back to the hotel that afternoon. He said the message was communicated to all the delegates including Sabally before he [Sinyan] left for the airport at 6pm.

Mr Sinyan said it was agreed that the VP and the delegation should leave for the airport one hour before departure. He said the delegation later came but Sabally was not among them which eventually took off at 9pm.

The question on what was the reason for the delay for departure was challenged by Sabally’s lawyer but he was overruled by the judge ordering the witness to answer.

Replying the Mr Sinyan said they were waiting for Sabally. His response prompted the judge to ask him: “So the delegation informed the pilot to wait?

Answering, Mr Sinyan said: “Yes, the protocols with the heads of the delegation.”

When asked by the prosecutor what happened to Sabally when delegation left for the venue for the inauguration without him, the judge asked the prosecutor whether the witness was monitoring Sabally. “He was a minister. Must this man monitor his movement? Don’t suggest anything to him,’ Justice Amadi said before the prosecutor withdrew the question.

The case will continue April 21.

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