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Published On: Wed, May 1st, 2024

High Court admits Cautionary Statement as Evidence In Alhagie Kebbeh’s Trial

The High Court of Banjul had admitted the Cautionary statement of Alhagie Kebbeh,obtained by Bakary Drammeh, a policeman from the Manjai Police Station’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) as Evidence. The statement taken on 18th May 2023 marked as Exhibit P1, was tendered by A. Dibba for the state without objections from K. Jallow, the counsel for the accused. 

Alhagie Kebbeh, is currently on trial for alleged economic crimes and theft specifically embezzling funds and stealing rice intended for the Covid-19 relief distribution.During the proceedings,Bakary Drammeh (PW1) testified that he followed directives from the OC of fraud Squad to arrest the suspect and caution him for questioning. Drammeh further confirmed that he obtained a statement Kebbeh which he read and signed.

Drammeh also confirmed that  an investigative panel was subsequently formed by the office of crime investigators, which he (Drammeh) was not involved.

Bakary Drammeh further said he would recognize the cautionary statement through his name and signature and when it was shown to him he confirmed that it was the same statements that he obtained.

When he( Bakary) was also asked by A.Dibba for the state if he played any other role in the investigations he answered that his role was to arrest the accused.

At this point A.Dibba for the state had no further questions for the witness. During the cross-examination by Counsel K. Jallow, the witness was asked to look at Exhibit P1 and tell the court if there was any independent witness present and the witness replied that there was no independent witness.

Time elapsed and the court was adjourned to 6th May at 12 noon for continuation of cross examination.

The State Law Office on Economic Crimes alleged that between the years 2020 and 2021, Alagie Kebbeh received the sum of Sixty-Four Million and Eighty Thousand Dalasi (D64,080,000) from 39 vendors for the supply of Fifty-Eight Thousand, Five Hundred (58,500) bags of 50-kilogram rice to the Government. 

While investigations revealed that only Seventeen Thousand and Ninety-Six Thousand (17,096) bags were delivered, while the remaining Forty-One Thousand, Four Hundred and Four (41,404) bags were intentionally withheld, which constituted an offence under Section 5 (f) of the Economic Crimes Act.

On the charge of theft under section 245 of the Criminal Code, the prosecution alleged that between the years 2020 and 2021, Kebbeh stole Forty-One Thousand, Four Hundred and Four (41,404) bags of 50 kilogram rice that belonged to the Gambia Government. According to the prosecution, the bags of rice were designated for distribution to vulnerable families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alhagie Kebbeh pleaded not guilty to both counts.

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