Bensuda fights back on death ground ,as she gets implicated in Kairaba Beach Hotel scandal
By Sainey Darboe
Lead counsel for Janneh Commission, Amie Bensuda , has dismissed allegations of involvement in the sale of Kairaba Beach as well as acting for quondam President Yahya Jammeh.
Addressing the commission, Mary Samba sister and Lawyer for business tycoon, Amadou Samba , postulated:
“I thought I should bring to the attention of this commission issues that have been brought before it to sensationalize it and not actually help the commission. We are informing you we have the evidence to produce before this commission. She was part and parcel of the transaction of Kairaba Beach Hotel. The counsel advising the commission should advise herself whether she should be here because there are so many issues which involved her”.
The Commission Chairman , Surahata Janneh declined to admit documents implicating Bensuda on the grounds that they didn’t constitute “proper allegations”. He said the commission is different from a court of law and the hearing should go on without further discussion of the matter.
However, this was not enough to stave off a spirited defense by Amie Bensuda who retorted:
“ I would like to crave the commission’s indulgence not to answer to the substance of any allegations, but just to put matters in context as regards my learned friend’s concern that I might be on a path to sensationalizing any evidence or putting any other colleague in an untenable position. I would just like to say you said regarding the evidence of Mr Sonko that I might have led it. I would just like to say that Mr Sonko did say that he didn’t have all the documents.
Mr Samba produced documents on which he couldn’t answer because he said the documents were given to him by his sister who was the lawyer on record acting for Kharafi and Sons. I will not comment on the propriety of that because Ms Samba did act for Kharafi and there was a relationship of privilege which ought to have been taken into account in giving documents to Mr Samba . However, when Mr Samba couldn’t answer particular questions on particular documents he said he didn’t know . It seems the only person who could explain is Mrs Samba the lawyer”.
Not to be outdone in the verbal pugilism and advocacy that became an unexpected spectacle at the commission, Bensouda ploughed on:
“If Mr Samba produced documents he couldn’t answer questions about, I don’t think my learned friend is suggesting we should not call Mr Sonko to put to put to him documents produced by Kharafi and Son’s lawyer not through Kharafi but through another witness. It’s is my duty to clarify that evidence and I will not flinch from that duty not withstanding any allegation anybody may have”.
On allegations of her legal role in acting for former president Jammeh who stands accused of plundering the resources of the most minuscule country in mainland Africa , Bensouda declared:
“I would just like to conclude that I have no concerns or fear about any evidence anybody may produce because I have never acted for ex president Jammeh in any capacity. I know I have not acted for any close associates in any capacity whatsoever. I am not saying I have not prepared documents. I might have but one thing is clear I have never acted for ex-President Jammeh and I have never acted for any named as close associates. When the time comes and there are any close associates I acted for I will be the first to bring to the attention of this commission. I have no personal interest in this process . None whatsoever. I am doing my job as I was appointed as counsel and I won’t hesitate to do what is right and I won’t be intimidated. Thanks”.