Lawyer Ibrahim Kijera, defence counsel for Baboucarr S Trawally who is facing a charge of giving false information Tuesday cross-examined Momodou Sabally, the Director General of Gambia Radio and Television Services and the first prosecution witness before Acting Principal Magistrate Kebba Baldeh at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.
Trawally is accused to have, in the month of March, 2016, written to the Office of the President at State House in Banjul a petition claiming an unlawful arrest by personnel of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and subsequent detention while on a video coverage at the Women’s Day programme held at the Buffer Zone in Tallinding, information he knew to be false. He has since denied the charge and was granted bail in the sum of D250, 000.
During cross-examination, DG Sabally denied telling the accused person that he was not doing his work properly leading to his sacking but admitted that he (Sabally) does not trust video and audio recording materials.
DG Sabally said to certain extent he was the head of the administration at the Office of the President while the accused person was answerable to the Director of Press and Public Relations but to the greater part the Secretary General was dealing with the Director of Press and Public Relations.
When asked whether the accused person had undergone any training when appointed as a press officer, DG Sabally said he wouldn’t know because he was not in office at the time.
When defence Kijera asked DG Sabally whether he had served as the Sectary General before the accused person was sacked from his position, he said he was there when the accused was still at the press office.
DG Sabally explained that a group of investigators came to his office and the accused person wanted to give away a report of an official meeting.
Defence Kijera asked him wether those video materials were personal recordings made by the accused person or whether they were state own but DG Sabally said they were state owned video materials and denied that they were the accused person’s own materials.
The case is adjourned to 16th November, 2016.
by Amie Suso