Kawsu Jaiteh, an accused person who is defending himself in a two-count charge of theft and cheating Monday continued his defence testimony as first defence witness before Magistrate Omar Cham of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.
Jaiteh is accused of stealing US$383,400 as money given to him by Boubacarr Jallow to transfer it to Abdoulie Sawaneh in China and instead he ran with the money to The Gambia. He is alleged to have committed the crime on or about 9th April 2013 in Luanda, Angola.
The offence contravenes Section 245 of the Criminal Code Cap 10 Volume III of the 2009 revised laws of The Gambia and punishable under Section 252 of the Criminal Procedure Code Cap 10 Volume III.
He is also accused of obtaining the said sum by means of fraudulent trick contrary to Section 290 of the Criminal Procedure Code Cap 10 Volume III of the 2009 revised laws of The Gambia.
In yesterday’s hearing, Jaiteh’s defence counsel Ida Drammeh asked him if he could remember how many days he spent with the National Intelligence Agency and was Boubacarr Jallow’s name mentioned to him there. He responded that he spent 78 days with the NIA and Boubacarr Jallow’s name was never mentioned to him. He said he first heard Boubacarr Jallow’s name at the police station when he was taken from the NIA.
He was further asked by counsel Drammeh if he knows how the Power of Attorney was prepared by Emmanuel Franko, Jaiteh said when the money given to him was apprehended from him, he was put in jail and later released. He said after his release, he organized a meeting with the people who gave him their money. He said the meeting was attended by himself, Abdoulie Touray, Boubacarr Sillah, one lawyer. He said one Chinese who should be part of the meeting was not present but Emmueal Franko promised that he would update him.
He said at the meeting, the lawyer told Emmanuel Franko to prepare a Power of Attorney to enable them get the money back in the bank which Franko himself will have to sign.
He said Franko said before signing the Power of Attorney he must first know his percentage of the money because it was because of that money that he was arrested and sent to jail for two months. “We refused Franko’s proposal because the money we gave him was more than the money he said was apprehended from him.”
When counsel Drammeh showed a document to the witness and asked him what he know about it, the witness said it was the document that was given to Franko by the Authorities when he (Franko) was arrested at the airport.
The counsel put to the witness that in the document, it is stated that $4,761,000 was taken from Franko. She asked the witness whether he could remember what was the exact amount that was given to Franko, the accused he came to found out that $890,000 and $1000 was given to Franko for his pocket money to pay for a hotel accommodation when he reach Dubai.
Counsel Drammeh asked the witness if it would be possible if the money is seized from Franko, who should authorise for the recovery of the money, the accused said Franko had told them that he (Franko) would sign and authorize a lawyer but only if he is given his percentage of the money.
He was also asked if the money was recovered before he travel to The Gambia and why was it that he came to Gambia. The witness said the money was not recovered at the time he came to The Gambia. He said he came to The Gambia because his visa expired.
The case is adjourned to 29th September 2016.
by Aji Fatou Lemon