The criminal trial involving former senior officials of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) namely Mr. Hali Abdoulie Gai, former Financial Director and Acting Managing Director, and Mr. Abdoulie Tambedou, one time Managing Director, on Thursday,12 September,2013 failed to proceed before acting Principal Magistrate Lamin Mbaye of the Banjul Magistrates' court when the documents requested by the defence for them to continue with the cross examination of the second prosecution witness (PW2), Essa Sowe, were not produced by the State.
When the case was called for continuation of the cross examination of the second prosecution witness (PW2), Edward Singateh, counsel for Mr. Gai (1st accused), who also held brief for Lamin Camara, counsel for Mr. Tambedou (2nd accused), told the court that they filed a notice for the State to produce documents since on the 9th of this month. He added that the defence has not been provided with any document by the prosecution which, he said, is because of the ongoing maintenance at the Attorney General Chambers and therefore do not blame the state for not producing the documents.
Counsel further submitted that since the counsel for the second accused was cross examining the witness and the required documents were not before the court, he proposed for an adjournment to allow the state to produce the said documents.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Hadi Saleh Barkum, in response, argued that the lack of producing documents and being served with notice in this case cannot be used as an excuse for the defence to apply for an adjournment. He referred the court to Section 101 sub 1 of the Evidence Act to back his submission. According to the DPP, they are bound to produce the documents, but if they failed to produce them, the defence can use their documents as secondary documents.
"At this point, we will apply for an adjournment to gather all secondary documents we have and tender them through the witness," said Singateh He asked for the court's indulgence for the state to produce the documents which the witness under cross examination has said he came across during the course of investigations. He added that some of the documents are very crucial in this matter.
At this juncture, the matter was adjourned to Wednesday,18th September,2013.