27 February 2013

Gambia: President's Orderly Cross Examined in Rice Theft Case Denied Beating 4th Accused, Daniel Balukan

Lieutenant Ansuman Sanyang, an oddly to President Jammeh was on Monday 25th of February cross examined by the second accused person, Lamin Sanneh, before Magistrate Momodou Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates Court in the ongoing alleged conspiracy, store breaking and stealing of 30kg rice said to be owned by the Gambia Government.

Under cross examination, the witness informed the court that he never slapped the 4th accused person; adding that the 4th accused told him that he took the rice from soldiers that were on duty at Appolo hotel.

"No, I never slapped him. I never even beat him" Sanyang insisted.

The second accused puts it to the witness that when he arrived with the first accused person, he (4th accused) asked for help from Sanneh because the witness was beating him seriously.

In response, Lt. Sanyang insisted that he did not beat Daniel Balukan.

Prior to the cross examination of the witness Mr. Sanyang continued with his evidence in chief and he informed the court that the buyer of the rice, Daniel Balukan was boarded in the Vehicle carrying the rice.

When you intercepted the vehicle, what did you do, asked Corporal Badjie?

I asked the person whom did you get this rice from; the first answer given by the 4th accused was he got the rice from his (Balukan) store but the witness told him that it is not possible for him to have store containing that type of rice because the rice is only available to his (Lt. Sanyang's) store.

"I told him that if you don't tell me the truth I will call soldiers and that will not be good for you", testified the witness. He added that Mr. Balukan then told him that the rice was sold to him by soldiers. He said he later took the accused person to State House and looked for support to escort them to the Police Station.

When asked by the prosecution whether he knows how many bags of rice were contained in the Vehicle, Daniel told him that it was 160 bags.

According to Lt. Sanyang, he went with the accused persons and the police to the store and upon their arrival they met the second accused, Lamin Sanneh and asked him whether he knows the 4th accused person but he Sanneh, replied in the negative but he shouted on him by telling him that they were the ones that sold the rice to him.

He said Mr. Sanneh confessed selling the rice alone to the 4th accused person. He said he then asked him how he got access to the store because he has locked the store and the keys were with him but Sanneh he said took him to the door and showed him how he unlocked the door.

Lt. Sanneh disclosed that when he cautioned the other two accused persons they informed him that they were not aware and that's how he took Sanneh to the station. Because he said he alone sold the said rice to the accused person.

The witness finally testified that he was later informed by the police that they have to go for the other accused person in order to make a thorough investigation.

Hearing continues today.

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