Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Detective Cham Says Military Items Found in Lang’s House


“These are items expected to be found with a former CDS”- Counsel Argued

Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The fifth Prosecution Witness, Lamin Cham in the Treason Trial between the State, Lt. General Tamba and Seven others military items were found in the 1st accused residents in Bijilo and Kololi.

According to him, the items found include twenty military booths, twelve files, with very high military ranks (3 ranks of Captain, 2 ranks of Major, 1 rank of Lt Colonel and a State Guard Emblem and 10 Ceremonial bottoms); Single Barrel Life Round, 3 British Camouflage uniforms, One French green uniform, ten camouflage T-Shirts, Ten other military T-Shirts, Six military Inner T-Shirts
and One military veil
.

However, Defence Counsel Sheriff Tambedou told PW5 (Detective Cham) during cross-examination that the uniforms, T-shirts and other items confirm to have
been found in Lang Tombong’s house are items expected to be found with him as a
former CDS of The Gambia.

Lamin Cham, a native of Sukuta was testifying at the High Court in Banjul on Wednesday 7th April, 2010 (Day
11)
of the latest treason trial involving top security officers…… Read on.

Day 10, PW2 Cross-Examination Continues 6th April, 2010

Lawyer Secka: Can you briefly describe to the Court what kind of training were you giving to those 300 mercenaries.

Gassama: I was training them how to attack a military camp with many well-trained soldiers.

Lawyer Secka: From the begging your intention was to know what the accused persons wanted to do, how to do it and when to do it?

Gassama: Yes

Lawyer Secka: As a military intelligent officer, do you know how to record a conversation on a cell phone?

Gassama: We got our own radio not a cell phone.

Lawyer Secka: Do you know how to record conversation in a cell phone?

Gassama: No, we have our own radio recorder.

Lawyer Secka: How well do you know the present Director General of National Intelligent Agency (NIA), Numo Kujabi?

Gassama: It was after the training when I came to collect my money from Lang Tombong at his compound on the third meeting. From there I rush to the NIA to reveal the
secret to the Director General that is how I came to know him.

Lawyer Secka: Do you remember saying in this Court that you received the money before the training?

Gassama: I never said that.

Lawyer Secka: Do you write in French or English?

Gassama: I can write in French.

Lawyer Secka: As an intelligent officer, whose intention was to reveal the secret, do you kept a dairy?

Gassama: No.

Lawyer Secka: I am putting it to you that you did not kept a dairy because you did not have anything to record.

Gassama: Yes! What I am saying is true, there is something that is why I came to the NIA to explain it to them so that they can give me one officer to go with me to
Guinea Bissau and took pictures when discussing with Ngorr Secka and Kukoi. The
officer can also put the tape in his pocket and record everything we were to
discuss and also to take the officer to Bambadinka to take the pictures of the
training ground.

Lawyer Secka: Did they do that?

Gassama: No, they never did that.

Lawyer Secka: Your visit to the Director General of NIA was it after the completion of the training and after you paid the 30,000 Euros, is that correct?

Gassama: Oh yes it was correct.

Lawyer Secka: Do you shown the money (30,000 Euro) to the Director General of NIA?

Gassama: I never saw him the money and I will never show him the money, because I am a businessperson.

Lawyer Secka: You said your intention was to reveal the secret, after your first or second meeting. Why you did not inform the NIA?

Gassama: Because, I did not want to lost the money.

Lawyer Secka: So you are doing all this for money, but not for the love of your country.

Gassama: I refused that because I reveal this secret for my country. I did not want to see them kill our president, my own people and destroy our nice buildings.

Lawyer Secka: do you know that Bambadinka is 140 km from the border between Bissau and Conakry?

Gassama: I did not know.

Lawyer Secka: Do you know a military camp in Guinea Bissau called Kortel De Bambadinka?

Gassama: Yes.

Lawyer Secka: So you agreed that there is a military camp at Bambadinka.

Gassama: Yes, but not in town it is in the bush.

Lawyer Secka: Do you know a town called Bafata in Guinea Bissau?

Gassama: No, I do not know.

Lawyer Secka: Am putting it to you that Bafata is 30 kilo meter (km) from Bambadinka?

Gassama: I did not know.

Lawyer Secka: Am further putting it to you that the main military camp in Guinea Bissau is at Bafata, former capital of Guinea Bissau.

Gassama: I did not know.

Lawyer Sabally cross-examines Jabbi Gassama

Awa Sisay: Mr. Jabbi Gassama you said you were born in Lamin is that correct?

Gassama: Yes.

Awa Sisay: You said you went to Bundung Primary and Nusrat High School?

Gassama: Yes.

Awa Sisay: What did you do at Nusrat?

Gassama: I did not remember.

Awa Sisay: Do you know your age at that time?

Gassama: I did not know.

Awa Sisay: Do you know the Principal at that time?

Gassama: No.

Awa Sisay: After Nusrat you went to your uncle in Senegal and later traveled to France.

Gassama: Yes.

Awa Sisay: Can you tell the Court what document do you used to go to France?

Gassama: My Senegalese passport.

Awa Sisay: From France to New York, which document do you used?

Gassama: The same passport.

Awa Sisay: So from New York to Guinea Bissau which document do you use?

Gassama: I was deported from the US, because at that time I was selling drugs and I threw away my Senegalese nationality and when the police arrested me I was not
having any document with me. They told me that did you want to return to your
country or be detained; I told them that I wanted to go back to my country
Guinea Bissau.

Awa Sisay: Why did you have two names (Rui Jabbi Gassama and Ousainou Kujabi)?

Gassama: Because I involve myself in drug dealing that is why I have many names and nationalities.

Awa Sisay: Can you explain why you said before the Court of law with confident that you sell drugs for the Government of Guinea Bissau?

Gassama: I did not know.

Do you know the court of law can punish you for drug trafficking because is an international crime?

The DPP Chenge objected to this question and it was over ruled.

Awa Sisay: How many vehicles do you offer to the accused persons?

Gassama: Four.

Awa Sisay: How many passenger dose it takes?

Gassama: It can take more than seven passengers.

Awa Sisay: There were 300 mercenaries. Out of the 300, two hundred are Gambians, are they all traveling together?

Gassama: I did not know.

Awa Sisay: When are they living Bissau for The Gambia?

Gassama: I did not know.

In your evident, you said they are to live from Bissau to Tamba-kunda to Kaolack to Barra and then to Farafenni?

Gassama: Yes, that was what I said and others will come by sea.

Awa Sisay: Am putting it to you that there are many security chick points on the way that the convoy cannot pass without notice?

Gassama: They can pass by force because; they did not have any arms with them.

Awa Sisay: Would they be notice?

Gassama: I did not know.

Awa Sisay: Do you know the distance between Kaolack to Barra and Barra to Farafenni?

Gassama: I do not know.

Awa Sisay: I am putting it to you that from Kaolack to Barra is 100km and from Barra to Farafenni is also 100km.

Gassama: I did not know.

Awa Sisay: Am further putting it to you that from Kaolack straight to Farafenni is 80km.

Gassama: I did not know that.

Awa Sisay: Mr. Jabbi Gassama you said you were paid thirty thousand Euros for the training of 300 mercenaries which lasted for forty-five days?

Gassama: Yes.

Awa Sisay: The cocaine you sell in Bissau what brand do you sell it, the cut or uncut one?

Gassama: I always sell the strongest one.

Awa Sisay: In your evident, you alleged the 6th accused bought a kilo of cocaine from you for 14,000 euros and he introduced other customers to you?

Gassama: I never said that, I said the six accused bought a kilo of cocaine from me for 14,000 euros and he introduce some other customers to me.

Awa Sisay: Am putting it to you that there was no coup plot known to you that involved the first, second and the sixth accused persons.

Gassama: Of course, there was a coup plot.

Awa Sisay: Am putting it to you that the NIA did not listen because you had noting credible to offer?

Gassama: They listened to me that is why the Director General of NIA wanted to take me to the President.

Awa Sisay: Where dose that boat supposed to dock?

Gassama: I did not know.

Did they tell you how the mercenaries will received the arms from the boat?

Gassama: No, they did not tell me.

Director of Public Prosecution re- cross examine PW2

DPP Chenge: In your cross-examination in chief you said that after completion of the training you come to The Gambia for
your payment and you were paid at Lang Tombong’s compound and again you said
that after you go back to Bissau to train the mercenaries and said yes. Why do
you said yes?

At that juncture, the defence counsel Secka objected to the question under the grounds that the question raised by the DPP did not governs the re-cross examination of
the witness. He argued that re-cross examination is to allow clearing the
ambiguity of the doubts raise by the witness and if a new matter arises in the
cross-examination, while referring the court to Law of Evident written by Assan
Jallow, page 226.

Counsel Secka told the Court that the re-cross examination is an occasion to remedy the errors made during cross-examination, adding that if the witness said one thing
in his evident and another thing in cross-examination it is nothing new and
that is why he objected to it.

In reply, DPP Chenge cited Section 192 Subsections 3 of the Evident Act, arguing that any other thing that the cross-examination should address the matter raise
in the re-cross-examination. He said this is to offer the witness to explain
the doubts, which is not clear. He added that this is not a new thing but if he
(witness) cannot explain the matter then it becomes new thing.

Lawyer Secka stood up again and submitted that the DPP wanted to rectify the error. He said there is a word of difference between clearing ambiguity, reciting an
error or try to remedy by terrible inconsistence. He said that the question
filed by the DPP is to remedy the error or damage done by the witness. The
presiding judge then over ruled defence objection and allow the DPP to
continue.

DPP Chenge: You said in your evident-in-chief that you met Ebrima Marreh at Lang Tombong’s house and in you other evident you said you met Ebrima Marreh in Lang
Tombong’s compound at the second meeting.

However, this question was objected by Lawyer Secka and dropped by the DPP.

Prosecution Witness 3 Testifies

Kabiro Saidy, a native of Siffoe and a security officer at The Gambian Embassy in Bissau, told the court in his testimony that he recognised only the sixth
accused, Ngorr Secka among the accused persons and can remember what happened
in 2009.

Kabiro Saidy told the court that Ngorr Secka is his boss as the Deputy of Mission at The Gambian embassy in Bissau. He added that he is still working for the
Embassy as a security officer and still receiving his monthly salary, but Ngorr
Secka is no more Head of Mission.

According to Saidy, he was in the same house with Ngorr Secka on a street called Beda Suda in Bissau, they move together both day and night. He said he and Ngorr Secka used to go to restaurants and
among which is Samaritan Restaurant in Bissau, but did not know of their
purpose of going to the said restaurant. He told the court that when they go to
Samaritan he use to stay in the vehicle while Ngorr Secka (sixth accused) will
go inside the restaurant and will spend one and a hour before coming out.

According to him, when coming out, sixth accused will along with many people and among them was Rui Jabbi Gassama who he can recognise.

He told the court that he and Ngorr Secka went to Samaritan Restaurant on six occasions and in all these occasions the sixth accused used to come out with Rui Jabbi
Gassama and in one occasion, he came out with Omar Camara. He told the court
that Rui Jabbi Gassama came to the Embassy on two occasions to talk to Ngorr
Secka and later drove him in a vehicle but he closes from work before they
return. “I did not have any idea where they used to go,” he said.

He further told the court that he never goes out with Ngorr Secka out of Bissau. “There is certain time people will come to look for Ngorr Secka in the house
but I did not know why among these people was Rui Jabbi Gassama,” he said,
adding that Ngorr Secka use to go for weekend but he never told him where he
goes to and also said he has no idea where he used to go.

According to Saidy, he once had a discussion with Ngorr Secka and advice him to be very careful because he is working for the Government of the Gambia, based on the
relationship between them and having seen him moving with people he did not
know.

Kabiro Saidy told the court that he also remembers going with Ngorr Secka and Omar Camara to a place called Amicharr in Pillun, where they met some people and
Ngorr will discuss with them, ‘after seeing that, I asked him to be careful but
he did not listen to me, if he did listen all these will not happen’.

He also told the court that he advised Ngorr Secka not to go to Amicharr, because there are many “Mafia” activities that take place there and many criminals from different
countries do met there. He said he called Ngorr Secka again and told him that
he knew Bissau, because he spent 9 years, to which he said Ngorr Secka admitted
that he knows Bissau more than him, but failed to listen to him. According to
him after that discussion, their relationship soured.

Cross Examination by Senior Lawyer Pap Cheyassin Secka

Lawyer Secka: How long did you know Rui Jabbi Gassama?

Saidy: I cannot know, how long I know him, but I know him through Ngorr Secka.

Lawyer Secka: You said you saw the sixth accused person coming out with people, how did you know there was Rui Jabbi Gassama?

Saidy: I know it, because when they came out from the restaurant they will come up to the vehicle where I used to sit and wait for Ngorr Secka.

Lawyer Secka: Do you know Rui Jabbi Gassama before you saw him at the restaurant with Ngorr Secka?

Saidy: No, I did not know him.

Lawyer Secka: Do you remember making statement on 31st December 2009?

Saidy: Yes, I did.

Lawyer Secka: Did you not say that among those people he (Ngorr Secka) meet at the restaurant, you only know Omar Camara APRC Candidate?

Saidy: I did not say that.

Lawyer Secka: Did you not say in that statement that Rui Jabbi Gassama visited the sixth accused person (Ngorr Secka) in two occasions?

Saidy: Yes, that is what I even repeated before the court.

Day 11, 7th April, 2010 PW 4, 5 and 6 Testifies

On Wednesday April 7, 2010, Prosecution Witness Four (PW4), Baluta Kanyi, a soldier from Brikama testified in the treason trial before the High Court in
Banjul. In his testimony Mr. Kanyi told the court that he know four of the
accused persons namely Langtombong Tamba, Omar Bun Mbye, Bo Badjie and Kawsu
Camara (Bombardier), adding that he can recall 3rd December, 2009.

According to him, on that day he received a call from one Bobo Marshall who told him that they are to going to de-kit Langtombong Tamba. He explained to the court the
that de-kit means to collect all the
military items or kits from a dismissed military officer. He told the court
that a team was set, which involved military police, intelligent officers and
soldiers, among them was Major Kuluteh Manneh, Second Lt. Alhagie Camara and
himself (PW4).

He further told the court that the team was to go and forfeit all military items from the former Chief of Defence Staff, Lang Tombong Tamba. Kanyi said, upon
arrival, Lang Tombong (1st accused) went inside his house and
brought the items, which were listed down on the dekit form, and was signed by
Kuluteh Manneh, Alhagie Camara (2nd accused) and himself (PW4) and
the 1st accused person as well.

Kanyi was asked by the DPP whether if he sees the form he will be able to recognize it, he answered in the positive and the form was shown to him, which he said he
recognized. At that juncture, the DPP then tendered the dekit form as an
exhibit, which was accepted by the Court without an objection from the defence
counsels. The form was marked as Exhibit (P1).

He said from Lang Tombong`s house they took the items to the Army Headquarters and returned to the Barracks. Baluta
Kanyi told the court that they left three items in Lang Tombong`s house; One
ceremonial suit, one pair of military shoe, military I.D Card and a diplomatic
passport.

Cross examination by Lawyer Sheriff M.K. Tambedou

Tambedou: When did you join Gambia Armed Forces?

Kanyi: In 1989.

Tambedou: Have you ever bought your own uniform?

Kanyi: Only when I went on mission in Sudan.

Tambedou: You said you received information from Bobo Marshall, did you spoke to him personally?

Kanyi: Yes.

Tambedou: Was this the only dekit exercise that took place in the former CDS house?

Kanyi: I only know the one we conducted.

Tambedou: The three items you said are left in Lang Tombong`s house are not reflected on Exhibit P1?

Kanyi: Yes, because we did not collected them.

Tambedou: Do you know that the former CDS was released from his duty on the 9th October, 2009?

Kanyi: yes.

Tambedou: Why did you stay until 3rd November, 2009 to dekit him?

Kanyi: I do not know.

Tambedou: Is that the first time for you to be involved in dekit exercise?

KANYI: No.

Tambedou: How many times are you involved?

Kanyi: I do not remember.

Tambedou: Since you join GAF how many times are you promoted?

Kanyi: More than five times.

Tambedou: What happen if you are posted to a different unit?

Kanyi: They will give you a new uniform for that unit.

Tambedou: What happen to the old uniform?

Kanyi” You keep it.

Tambedou: If you are transferring from Banjul to Basse do you receive new uniform?

Kanyi: It is the same because transfer and posted are the same.

Tambedou: Is there any de-kitting manual for GAF?

Kanyi: I have never seen it.

Tambedou: The items you found at former CDS house were normal military items?

Kanyi: Yes.

Tambedou: Did you saw any ceremonial suit, military I.D Card and diplomatic passport?

Kanyi: No, I did not saw them.

PW 5 (Lamin Cham) Testifies

Prosecution witness number five, Lamin Cham a native of Sukuta told the court that he knew all the accused persons. According to him on 23rd November, 2009 he
led a team of officers who were part of the investigating panel of the alleged
coup plot to Lang Tombong Tamba`s
resident at Bijilo to conduct a search in all his premises or house.

He further said that he went with Lang Tombong to his resident and upon their arrival at his Bijilo resident; the first accused led them to his room. At the
bed room, he added they found a carton which
he (1st accused) said was sent to him from his former office.

According to him (PW5) they search the carton and found twenty military booths, twelve files, with very high military ranks (3 ranks of Captain, 2 ranks of Major, 1 rank of Lt Colonel and a State Guard
Emblem and 10 Ceremonial bottom).

From his Bijilo resident, Lamin Cham said they proceed to his Kololi resident and he led the team in his rooms where they conducted a search in all the rooms. He
told the court that during the search they found a Single Barrel Life Round, 3 British Camouflage uniforms, One French
green uniform, ten camouflage T-Shirts, Ten other military T-Shirts, Six
military Inner T-Shirts and One military veil
.

He said after recovering the said items the team went back to the N.I.A headquarters where the items were kept in the N.I.A exhibit store. The cartons
were marked as items from Ex-CDS Residents.

He told the court that before they put the items in the exhibit store they confronted Lang Tombong (1st accused) with the items which he admitted that
they are from his houses, but no explanation was given.

PW5 told the court that if he saw the said cartons he will recognize it, because he labeled it. At this point, the cartons were shown to him and he identified
them. The DPP then applied to tender the said cartons as an exhibit, which was
accepted by the court without an objection from the defence counsels and were
marked as Exhibit P1, P2 and P2(a).

An officer was called to open the boxes (cartons) for the 1st accused [Lang Tombong] to identify whether they are from his home or not.

The 1st accused [Lang Tombong] was called to go through the items and after going through the items told the court that the four small boxes containing BB
hunding Catirge were not found in his home, arguing that it was is SB hunding
Catirge were found in his home and they are all pack in one small packet.

The Court asked the witness [PW5] what was he said about Lang Tombong’s objection that the four BB hunding Catirge were not found in his home. In his reply, Cham
said they were found in Lang Tombong’s house.

The Court also asked Lang Tombong the meaning of SB and BB, but he said he did not know. Lang Tombong told the court that he has no caused to disagree, because he
has surrendered guns and other items to them, if the BB also was found in his
home he will accept that PW2 was not even present at the time the items were
recovered from his house.

All the items found in cartons were marked as Exhibit E2c and the four small boxes containing the BB hunding Catirge was disputed by the 1st accused.

Cross-examination of PW5

Tambedou: You said the 1st accused accepted and write a statement about the items found in his house, in that statement did he explain anything about the
items found in his house.?

Cham: I cannot remember whether he explain or not but he accepted that they were found in his house.

Tambedou: The statement he wrote it is a voluntary statement or a cautionary.

Cham: It was voluntary statement.

Tambedou: These empty cartons were not from Lang Tombong’s house.

Cham: Yes, we did not found the cartons in his house, but the items in the cartons.

Tambedou: Was the parking of these items in the carton was in the presence of Lang Tombong?

Cham: Yes

Tambedou: Am putting it to you that the parking of these items in the carton was not in the presence of Lang Tombong.

Cham: It was in his presence.

Tambedou: You said you found files of military ranks in Lang Tombong’s house do you know that Lang Tombong was once a captain?

Cham: I did not know that.

Tambedou: Am putting it to you he was once a captain.

Cham: I said, I do not know.

Tambedou: Do you know between 6 to 7 years, he (1st accused) was a Commander of the State Guards.

Cham: Yes, I know that during the period of the investigation.

Tambedou: I put it to you that the uniforms, T-shirts and other items confirm to have been found in Lang Tombong’s house are items expected to be found with him as a
former CDS of The Gambia.

Cham: But, the items expected to be return to Gambia armed forces (GAF) on the day of de-kiting.

Tambedou: Where you present the day of de-kiting?

Cham: No, I was not present, military officers conducted that.

Tambedou: Do you made a statement on 23rd November, 2009 about this case?

Cham: Yes, I did.

Tambedou: Did you write that statement yourself?

Cham: Yes.

Tambedou: In that statement you made, you listed the items found in the house of Lang Tombong.

Cham: Yes.

Tambedou: Did you list 100 SB life rounds there?

Cham: No, I did not mention it there.

Tambedou: Did you know Lang made a cautionary statement?

Cham: I cannot remember it.

Tambedou: I put it to you that Lang Tombong gave the detail explanation of how the items were found in his house came about.

Cham: I did not record that statement.

Tambedou: After writing your statement, did you saw it to Lang Tombong, the items you listed?

Cham: Yes, he accepted that the items were found in his house.

Tambedou: Did he accept signing your statement?

Cham: Yes, he accepted signing my statement and wrote his own.

Tambedou: On the 23rd November, 2009?

Cham: I am not sure about the date.VOL:2 ISSN:156

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