The Magistrate Court in Banjul on Wednesday admitted as evidence a copy of The Voice newspaper which bears the political defections article “19 Green Youths joins opposition UDP”.
Last week, defence counsel Lamin S. Camara objected to the copy being admitted as evidence, saying that the prosecutor fails to lay the proper foundation for the paper to be admitted under section 22 of the Evidence Act.
When the case resumes on February 19, Magistrate Lamin Mbaye, presiding, admitted the newspaper as Exhibit A “even if it does not satisfy Section 22 of the Evidence Act.”
The Editor-In-Chief of The Voice newspaper Musa S. Sheriff and Sainey MK Marenah, a freelance journalist, have pleaded not to charges of “conspiracy to commit a misdemeanour” and “false publication” brought against them by the police.
Meanwhile, the first prosecution witness Lamin Jammeh, a police officer of the criminal investigation unit for West Coast Region, continues his testimony.
He said after completion of “our grand investigation”, a report was issued and signed by all panel members with a leaf of The Voice’s newspaper front-page attached to the report.
The said report was admitted by the court and mark as Exhibit B – to which the defence did not object.
Under cross-examination by counsel Camara, the witness said didn’t have a register of all the green youths in Tanji and don’t know how many green youths are in The Gambia.
However, he reiterated that there are 58 green youths in Tanji, a village in the Kombo South District, West Coast Region of The Gambia.
Lamin Jammeh said he spoke to five members of the green youths including their leader Aji Ousman Jallow during the investigation.
He said apart from the five people they spoke to, they [the panel] suggest that the publication was false through the reaction of Sainey Manneh, the spoke person of Tanji green youths and the former Alkalo of Tanji.
Jammeh also claim that Musa S. Sheriff, who he said wrote his own statement, admitted that the “publication was false”. He finally told the court that he have the copy of that [Sheriff’s] statement.
The trial continues on on 13th March, 2014.