I was Asked About Col. Ndure Cham- Accused Tells Court

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ebrima Colley, the 2nd accused in the ongoing trial of nine alleged MFDC rebels, yesterday disclosed to the court that among the range of questions he was asked by the panel at NIA was whether Col Ndure Cham was in fact in Senegal.

Responding to questions under cross-examination by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Emmanuel Fegbenle, the 2nd accused told the court that he was asked about the money they received from the Senegalese government. He said he was also asked about his trip to Senegal and where they met with Senegalese officials in The Gambia. Asked whether he fought with any member of the panel members during the recording of his cautionary statement, he replied in the negative. On whether he responded to all the questions put to him by the panel, he replied in the affirmative. He concluded by denying the charge of the DPP that all what he said in court were lies, maintaining that he spoke only the truth.

Addressing the court at the end of the testimony on the Voire Dire, DPP Emmanuel Fegbenle stated that it is the duty of the prosecution to prove that the cautionary statement sought to be tendered were proved beyond all reasonable doubt. He said in doing so the prosecution calls three witnesses.

DPP Fegbenle further submitted that the officer who arrested the two accused persons gave evidence and was cross-examined by the accused persons. He said both his evidence-in-chief and during cross-examination indicated that the accused persons were never forced or put under duress. He equally adduced that the officer who obtained the statement both in cross-examination and evidence-in-chief had told the court that the accused persons were never forced nor threatened, but that rather they freely and willingly gave their statements. He said the independent witness who witnessed the recording of the statements was a qualified independent witness as required by law, noting that his testimony that the accused persons made the statements at their own free will was true.

The DPP further contended that the testimony of all the prosecution witnesses corroborated one another. He therefore urged the court to disregard the evidence of the accused persons and admit the statements of the accused persons in court as exhibits.

The accused persons in their response to the DPP’s submission maintained that they were forced with threats at the moment their cautionary statements were being obtained and therefore objected to their tender in court as exhibits.

Hearing continues on 21st November 2007.

Author: By Modou Sanyang & Bakary Samateh
Source: The Point
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