Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) has argued that it had
sent a representative who was present in Court during Monday’s hearing of
former 1994 junta member Yankuba Touray.
“It is sufficient in this particular instance that an authorized official of the TRRC was present in Court in pursuance of the Summons to Produce Documents. One of its representative present takes note that on the 4th November 2019, during the Yankuba Touray Trial, Counsel for Mr. Yankuba Touray requested that the Court issue a Bench Warrant against the Executive Secretary of the Commission Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow, for failing to appear and present certain documents requested by the Defence,” the Commission’s secretariat said.
On Monday, Mr Touray’s Defense Counsel Abdoulie Sissoho, urged Justice Ebrima Jaiteh at the High Court in Banjul to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the Commission’s Executive Secretary, for failing to appear in court.
Counsel Sissoho told the court that he was making the application following a subpoena, which was issued pursuant to Section 221 of the Evidence Act. He also stated that an affidavit of service was served to Baba Galleh Jallow, noting that he has not appeared in court neither has he informed the court as to why he did not appear.
But the Commission said without delving into the merits of the application of the Defence, the Office of the Lead Counsel of the TRRC wishes to inform the general public that the TRRC in fact sent a representative who was present in Court during the hearing. “It is sufficient in this particular instance that an authorized official of the TRRC was present in Court in pursuance of the Summons to Produce Documents.
It said the court was also notified of this fact by the prosecutor in-charge of the case, saying as such, the TRRC is of the view that the application of the Defence for a Bench Warrant against Dr. Jallow was unnecessary. “In any case, Section 25 of the TRRC Act 2017, grants immunity to the Executive Secretary and other staff of the Commission from civil and criminal proceedings for any act or omission done in the official performance of their functions. In this context, a Bench Warrant against the Executive Secretary or any other staff of the TRRC would be unlawful.”
The Commission further stated that it wishes to inform the general public that it will always comply with all lawful orders of the Courts addressed to it, including orders to produce any documents that it may be lawfully requested to produce.
“In this case, the documents that the Executive Secretary of the TRRC was requested to produce before the court were not produced by the representative of the Commission because of the arguments between the parties which are yet to be ruled upon and also the absence of an order by the judge for that person to take the witness stand and submit the documents to the Court.”
It further said it wishes to further inform the general public that all the available materials requested by the Defence to be produced during the hearing were in fact already provided to Mr. Yankuba Touray as required by the TRRC Provisional Rules of Procedure. “As such, the submission of the same set of documents to the Court as requested by the Defence of Mr. Yankuba Touray would have just amounted to a duplication of the process.”
The Commission say it was represented in court by an official of the Commission, who possessed the relevant documents and was available to produce them to the Court if asked to do so.