28 November 2012

Gambia: Additional Charges for Foday Barry

The police prosecution led by Sergeant Manga on Tuesday filed in an amended charge sheet containing two additional criminal charges against Foday Barry, the former director of Intelligence and Investigation at the NDEA.

This development happened at the Banjul Magistrates' Court presided over by Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe, where Foday Barry is standing trial alongside Pa Habibou Mbye, the former Crime Management coordinator at the NDEA.

When the case came up for continuation of cross-examination of PW4, the police prosecutor, Manga, informed the court that he has filed an amended charge sheet with additional two counts. The defence counsel for the accused persons, Uzoma Achigbue, said he was not objecting to it if the amendment would not interfere with the bail of his clients.

The additional charges are abuse of office and stealing, both contrary to the Laws of The Gambia. On the charge of abuse of office, the prosecution alleged that Foday Barry sometime between 2010 and 2012 in the city of Banjul and diverse places, abused the functions of his office by demanding an amount of 200, 000 Euros from one Robert Danquah through one Ousman Drammeh in order to grant him bail, thereby committed an offense.

On the charge of stealing, the particulars of offence revealed that Foday Barry sometime between 2010 and 2012 with intent to defraud and permanently deprive the owner, stole an amount of D12, 000 and a Toshiba laptop belonging to one Ousman Drammeh of Dippakunda, thereby committed an offense. When these charges were read to Foday Barry, he pleaded not guilty.

During cross-examination of the fourth prosecution witness (PW4), Ousman Drammeh, by the defence counsel, Lawyer Uzoma, PW4 said that he does not know the business Robert Danquah is engaged in nor does he know what Robert Danquah came to do in The Gambia.

He said before meeting Danquah at his hotel room, they met at Westfield in an electronic shop. But he said he would not know if that was Danquah's first visit to The Gambia. He (PW4) explained that he wrote three (3) statements in the case as he gave a statement at the NDEA Holgam Branch in Kanifing in 2011 and another one to the NIA in 2012 when the accused persons were arrested. He said that he wrote another statement on the 14th November 2012 at the police headquarters in Banjul.

When the defence counsel put it to the witness that the first time he mentioned that Robert Danquah asked him to help him on his (Danquah's) bail was in the court in his testimony, PW4 responded that he did mention it in his statement at the police on the 14th November 2012, but he did not mention it in his other two statements at the NDEA and NIA respectively. PW4 disclosed that the money was put in a save by the first accused (Foday Barry) and Gassama but he did not know that the money and the laptop were forfeited to the state.

It would be recalled Foday Barry was earlier charged on four counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, stealing, making false document and uttering false documents, all contrary to the Laws of The Gambia. The second accused (Pa Habibou Mbye) is only charged on the first count of conspiracy to commit a felony.

Hearing continues on December 3rd 2012. The court however said that if the prosecution fails to produce the last witness on this date as promised, the court shall close the prosecution's case and order for the defence to open its case.

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