Killa Ace’s Counsel Challenges Prosecution Witness
Patrick Gomez, who is representing Ali Cham, alias Killa Ace, who was charged with breach of the peace and assaulting a police officer, on the 22nd November, 2018, cross-examined the first prosecution witness, Demba Bah, to challenge, discredit and contradict him.
When the case was called, Sub-Inspector Bobb rose and told the court that she was representing the IGP while Patrick Gomez announced his representation for Killa Ace. Lawyer Gomez then asked the witness: “How long have you served the Gambia Police Force?” “Three years.” “You are taking part in many undercover operations?” “No.” “Who gave you command for the investigation you did which led to the arrest of the accused?” At this juncture, Prosecutor Bobb objected to the question. She said that the witness did not investigate the case but intervened during the push and pull. Counsel Gomez then argued that what the prosecutor said was evidence coming from her and this was cross-examination. He stated that defense lawyers are not bound by evidence given under examination-in-chief. He urged the court to overrule the objection and to ask the witness to answer the question.
Magistrate Joof, who was presiding over the case at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, overruled the objection and said that the defense counsel was testing the veracity of the evidence of the witness. The witness then answered: “Chief Superintendent Mboob gave us command.” “You were looking for people with suspected stolen goods?” “Yes.”
“Do you know at the time you received the command whether there were reports about stolen properties?” “I have no idea.”“You arrived at the Black Market at 8pm?” “It was 8pm onwards.”
Several questions were put to the witness which he answered without any objection from the prosecution. Lawyer Gomez then applied to tender the statement of the witness. Prosecutor Bobb then said they could allow the defense counsel to photocopy the statement, because it formed part of the police file.
Magistrate Joof ordered the prosecutor to provide the defense counsel with the said statement, which was done. Counsel Gomez again applied to tender the statement and the prosecutor did not raise any objection. It was admitted by the court as an exhibit.
The said statement was given to the witness to read part of it, which he did. He was told that there was no mention of Mendy showing the accused his warrant card, and he agreed. He was shown his uniform and asked some questions on it.
It was then put to him that when the accused requested the warrant card of Mr.Mendy when he was not in uniform, he told the accused that he was rude, because he felt offended. He said he did not agree. He further told the court that the accused refused to be searched at the scene but was later searched at the Serekunda Police Station.
“You will agree with me that no suspected stolen property was found in the bag of the accused.”
“I am not aware.”