The former Justice Minister Lamin Jobarteh has found himself in another legal nightmare. Despite being “pardoned” by the Kanilai monster, Mr. Jobarteh has been slammed with three count charges ranging from Economic crime, and giving false information to a public servant.
The prosecution said Mr. Jobarteh “sometime between the month of July 2012 and May 2013 in Banjul, whilst he was the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, willfully and/or recklessly caused monetary loss to The Gambia Revenue Authority, a public body, by constituting a Task Force which reassessed and reviewed downwards the tax liabilities of several tax defaulters as found by the Tax Commission.”
In the months of February and April 2013 in Banjul, whilst Jobarteh was the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, he informed the Office of the President that over D200 million had been recovered from tax defaulters and deposited in the GRA recovery account with the GTBank, knowing such information to be false.
In July of 2012 and May 2013, in Banjul, whilst he was the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Jobarteh informed the Commissioner General, Gambia Revenue Authority, that there was cabinet approval to establish a Task Force to re-assess the tax liabilities of defaulters as shown in the Tax Commission report, knowing such information to be false.
Police officer Jawo Keita told the court that the amount involved was D2,525, 056,591.57 (two billion, five hundred and twenty-five million, fifty-six thousand, five hundred and ninety-one dalasis fifty-seven butus). He testified that he was called by the C.M.C and briefed about tax defaulters, adding that he was given a document dated 6 June 2012 (recommendation of the Tax Commission) minuted by the Inspector General of Police to the C.M.C.
Jawo Keita adduced that he did not recover the said amount, but recovered some amount of money.
When it was announced over the air that the tax defaulters started paying their liabilities, he said he later asked the defaulters to be paying their liabilities into the GT Bank. He said hat the defaulters were issued with receipts upon payment of their liabilities. The receipts were tendered as exhibits.
Trial resumes on December 19th. DPP Barkum represented the state.