Mr Samateh who absconded before completing his testimony as state first witness in the trial of former police chief Ensa Badjie and two other senior military officers, Lt Col Mam Matar Secka and Major Kuluteh Manneh in 2010, was arraigned last week before Magistrate Muhammed Krubally.
Mr Samateh, a businessman was slammed with five counts including obtaining money by false pretence, money laundering and sedition.
He is accused of receiving various sums of money amounting to D64,000 from Umar Ndow, Mohamed Ceesay Ikemefuna Izuchukwu under the false pretences that he had cocaine which was given to him by the president of The Gambia for sale in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The state further alleged that Mr Samateh, with intent to bring the name of the president into hatred, contempt and or disaffection uttered seditions words to various members of the public to wit: “The president of The Gambia called me to return from Holland to The Gambia to come and handle his cocaine business.”
The allegations further revealed that Mr Samateh did receive €10,000 from Umar Ndow under the false pretence that he was going to use the money for the procurement of spare parts to carry out repairs on a military helicopter intended for use in the transportation of gold to Freetown, Sierra Leone in 2009. It was also alleged that he transported money (euros) into Brusubi, Banjul and other places in the Gambia from Holland, the United Kingdom and other places in the World with the intent of concealing the illegal and or illicit origin and source of the money between 2008 and 2010.
However, neither the state nor Mr Samateh or his representative were represented and this prompted the magistrate to order that hearing notices be issued to the parties. “Since no appearance has been entered in this suit, I order that for the benefit of doubt, the case be adjourned for mention. Hearing issues must be sent to the parties concerned,” Magistrate Krubally said. The trial resumes today.]]>