Witness: Accused was Wrongly Charged in Pre-Mix D33M Theft Trial

Witness: Accused was Wrongly Charged in Pre-Mix D33M Theft Trial

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Ousman Janneh, Operation Manager of the Associated Pre-Mix Oil Company who is currently testifying as third prosecution witness in a trial involving the Company has told a Kanifing Magistrates’ Court that the accused person Babucarr Badjie was wrongly charged by prosecutor in the D33M theft trial.

Badjie, the former Finance Officer of the Pre-Mix Oil Company is defending himself through his counsel Pa Harry Jammeh before Principal Magistrate Hilary Abeke on a charge of stealing D33M from his former employer. An allegation he denied since the beginning of the eight months trial.

The  Operation Manager who is also the Internal Auditor of the company said he made findings of the accused person’s banking transaction of which he found that there was a grand shortage of D33M and a net daily surplus of over D29M, making a deficit of D3, 687, 807. 00. “I have told the Managing Director Ebrima Touray since day one that my finding of the accused person’s banking transactions shows that there are discrepancies of D3, 687, 807. 00 but he (Touray) went to the police and claimed D33M and the prosecution relied on that information to charge the accused,” Janneh said.

Badjie and his counsel have been appealing for the court to review his bail condition which was granted to him in the sum of D35M. The defence now applied for the court to revise Badjie’s bail condition at the instance of the new development.

“The report entitles Babucar Badjie’s Transaction 2015 reconciliation conducted by the Associated Pre-Mix Oil Company limited and most importantly by the Operation Manager is what this trial is all about. The accused was granted bail by this court in the sum of D35M, a condition he has still not fulfilled,” Badjie defence counsel said.

Counsel Jammeh said he had made powerful submissions which prompted the court to grant the accused person bail, saying now that the author and witness for the prosecution are telling the court that the discrepancy is D3M.

He argued that there is no better person in the company to make the claim and verify them than the Operation manager because the prosecution acted on his report wrongly and unlawfully. “In the interest of justice, now that the court is aware of the new development, I wish to apply for the bail condition to be revised. My client is still not responsible for the D3M.”

Counsel Jammeh further argued that the witness did not bear the professional qualification and licence to certify account and therefore the court cannot give credit to the report prepared by him.

The prosecuting officer Assistant Superintendent Singhateh who made his first appearance in the case was muted after his witness deviated from his charge sheet. He applied for an adjournment to enable him come proper in the trial.

His application was not objected to by the defence counsel but he insisted for Badjie’s bail condition to be revised.

The presiding magistrate later adjourned the case to Wednesday and ordered for the company’s Managing Director to appear before him to clarify the originality of the claim.

In Wednesday’s hearing the magistrate stated that he has decided to go back to the record which shows some conflicting evidence of the witness. He said the witness’s evidence-in- chief is in conflict with the evidence in cross-examination.

The case is now adjourned to 25th October.

by Meita Touray