Defence challenges witness in Yankuba Touray’s Trial

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Defence Counsel Sissoho on 19 November, 2019, challenged the second prosecution witness, Ensa Mendy, in the murder case involving Yankuba Touray under cross-examination before Justice Jaiteh of the High Court in Banjul.

Counsel Sissoho asked the witness whether it was not true that he had previously under oath said in his evidence that he drove Mamie Minteh, the accused sister and his children to Banjul. He denied it. Asked who was in the house before he left, he answered that he left the family.

He was asked whether he could name everybody he left in the house. He said he could not. He was also asked whether it was not true that he had made the same statement that the maids went to the neighbour’s house. He replied that it was not the actual date.

It was put to him that he also made an oath that Mamie Minteh went to her family compound in Banjul. He said he was told that she went to Banjul. It was put to him that he had two versions of events. One was Mamie Minteh, the children and the maids were in the house prior to his departure. The second was that Mamie, the children and the maids went to Banjul. He was then asked what his response was.

He replied that the first day was the night he was to patrol, adding that that was the time he left Mamie Minteh in the house. He was asked whether it was not true that Captain Jarngum was enlisted before him. He responded that Captain Jarngum was not in the army but in the gendarmerie. It was put to him that after the amalgamation of the Gambia Armed Forces, Captain Jarngum was his senior. In response, he stated that he did not know whether Captain Jarngum was a private soldier, noting that at the time he did not know whether Captain Jarngum was his senior or not.

“The Jarngum I know was a corporal but I will accept that Corporal Jarngum was my senior at the time,” he told the court. It was put to him that the senior always leads the command in the army. He agreed. It was also put to him that he never went with Jarngum and others for patrol. He answered that he went with some of them.

“Captain Jarngum has confirmed under oath that he has never gone with you on patrol,” Counsel Sissoho put it to him. He replied that he was asked at the CID office whether they had gone on patrol and he said they had. He noted that Jarngum was not among the team he went with.

He was asked whether he knows their names and he said that he only knows two of them, stating that one of them was Jarngum whom he used to communicate with and the other one was Lamin Bojang. Asked whether he could tell the court whom he went patrol with, he said he could not remember their names.

When he was asked how many of them went on patrol, he said they were two. “Were you combat-ready before you went on patrol?” Counsel Sissoho wanted to know. In response, he told the court that he was in his uniform and had his pistol and the other two had their rifles.

He was asked whether he saw Jarngum during their patrol. He replied in the negative, noting that he did not communicate with him either. He further testified that he communicated with the accused by a mobile phone. He was asked the number of his mobile telephone but said he could not remember.

Asked where the accused was when he called him, he answered that he did not know. “Mr. Mendy, I am putting it to you that the accused never called you,” Counsel Sissoho put it to him. He denied it.

He was asked whether it was not true that from 1994 to 1997 something happened between him and the accused in the line of duties. He answered in the positive. “In the line of your duties you have executed several orders with your team. You have seen the accused visiting friends, police and the army between 1994 and 1997 to 2001,” Counsel Sissoho told the witness, who responded in the positive.

It was put to him that he had also seen the accused receiving his colleagues from 1994 to 2001. “It is where they have their programme,” he said. It was again put to him that he said in his evidence-in-chief that upon his return to the house he saw the accused in a minute.  “I said I stood inside the house,” he replied.

It was put to him that his evidence-in-chief was not true but he stated that he spoke the truth and what he said was what transpired between him and the accused.

At this juncture, Counsel Sissoho applied to tender the official testimony of the witness at the TRRC. The state counsel did not raise any objection. The document was subsequently admitted by the court.

“Mr. Mendy, look at the document. Your evidence before the TRRC is completely different from your evidence in court,” Counsel Sissoho challenged him. He denied it.

The case was adjourned to 12 December, 2019, for continuation of cross-examination of the witness.        

Author: Dawda Faye