By Dawda Faye
Paul Conteh, an accused person, was recently arraigned before Magistrate Joof of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court and charged with trafficking in obscene publication, an allegation he denied.
Prosecutors alleged that on or about the 9th day of January, 2019, at Senegambia, in the Kanifing Municipality of the Republic of The Gambia, the accused unlawfully circulated a pornographic material (blue film) of a complainant on the internet, accusing her of having carnal knowledge with a white man.
Under cross-examination, the complainant told the court that her husband, who is in England, called her on the phone and told her that she disappointed and cheated on him. She was asked by the accused, Paul Conteh, how she came to know about the video.
She told the court that she knew about the video through her friends, one Aisha and Betty. The accused put it to her that she and her friends fabricated the video to incriminate him. In response, she stated that she cannot make such pictures, and does not know how to do it.
The accused challenged her to call her husband to be her witness and tell the court the telephone number through which he received the video. Subsequently, the prosecuting officer, Sergeant 2717 Jallow, reacted telling the court that the accused should not tell the prosecution who they should bring as a witness.
The accused then told the court that the complainant was just trying to put him in trouble, noting that she once reported him at the police station and accused him of stealing her money to the tune of D30,000. He said that he was detained
at the police station for four days.
Prosecutor Jallow rose and told the court that what the accused was saying was not before the court. He raised an objection and urged the court to overrule the statement made by the accused.
Magistrate Joof concurred with the prosecutor and ruled in favour of the prosecution. At this juncture, the accused told the court that he wanted to apply to the court to send a subpoena to the husband of the complainant to appear in court to be his witness and tell the court the telephone number through which he received the video.
Magistrate Joof then advised him to make a formal application on the next adjourned date. The accused is expected to continue his cross-examination of the complainant on the 13th May, 2019, to test her credibility.