UDP 14 case: PIU officer declines to tell court why month-old-baby was arrested

Thursday, November 03, 2016

The first prosecution witness, Sub-Inspector Alagie Touray, a PIU officer, who claimed to be part of the arresting team that arrested the 14 supporters of the United Democratic Party (UDP), yesterday declined to tell the court why a month-old-baby of the 2nd accused person was arrested along with her mother.

The PIU officer was responding to a question put to him by senior counsel Hawa Sisay-Sabally, before Justice O. Ottaba of the Special Criminal Court.

The accused persons are Bakary Jammeh, Kaddy Samateh, Lele Bojang, Alkali Sanneh, Yaya Fatty, Muhammed Singhateh, Kemo Touray, Bakary Marong, Buba Mass, Alagie Saidykhan, Tombong Njie, Modou Sarr, Sheriff Suma, and Lamin Dampha.

They are being tried on a seven-count charge of conspiracy to commit a felony, unlawful assembly, riot, incitement of violence, interfering with vehicles, holding a procession without a permit and disobeying an order to disperse.

The state was represented by counsel Ade and A. Yakubu, whilst the defendants were represented by senior counsel Hawa Sisay-Sabally, R.Y. Mendy, Y. Senghore, C. Gaye and A. Njie.

Under cross-examination, senior counsel H.S. Sabally asked the witness whether Kaddy Samateh, the 2nd accused person, was arrested on her way home from attending the Ousainou Darboe and Co trial, which her husband was part of. Is that correct?”

“No,” PW1 said.

“Why was she arrested?”

“No idea,” said the witness.

“It was correct that when she was arrested and taken to the PIU, her one-month-old-baby was taken to her for breastfeeding, and the baby was also arrested and detained?”

“No idea,” said PW1.

“Are you aware that once the baby was arrested and detained, the officers at the PIU asked the family to bring diapers for the baby because you don’t know how to take care of a month-old-baby in custody?”          

“No,” PW1 responded.

“I am putting it to you that it happened.”

“No,” he said.

“Can you tell the court the crime the one month-old-baby you arrested committed?”

“I don’t know.”

“It is your evidence that the accused persons were arrested at the ICE Man Junction?”

“Yes.”

“I am putting it to you that it was the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 10th and 13th accused that were arrested at the ICE Man Junction, and not all the accused persons.”

“I don’t know.”

“There is another junction called Cooperative Junction, is that correct?”

“Yes.”

“At that Cooperative Junction, the 9th and 11th accused were arrested there, and not at the ICE Man Junction.”

“I don’t know.”

“Is it not correct that the 1st, 5th, 7th, 8th, 12th, and 14th accused were arrested at Kairaba Avenue near Ousainou Darboe’s compound, after having a nice lunch?”

“I don’t know.” 

“Whom did you arrest personally?”

“I did not arrest anybody.”

“On 9 May 2016, the case of Ousainou and others was proceeding at the High Court. You know that as a fact, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Is it correct that most of the accused persons attended the court that day in Banjul?”

“I don’t know.”

“Were you part of the PIU at the court that day?” 

“No.” 

“I am putting it to you that the reason why PIU arrested these people is because of their affiliation to the United Democratic Party (UDP). Is that not correct?” 

“I don’t know.”

“When the PIU arrested them, they gave the accused persons a severe beating. Is that correct?”

“I don’t know.”

“It is correct that the PIU took the accused person to Jangjanbureh Prisons after beating them, where they were detained for several weeks.”

“I don’t know.”

“The 12th accused, Modou Sarr, was onboard a vehicle with his driver when the PIU stopped him and arrested him with his driver and took him to PIU headquarters in Kanifing.”

“I have no idea.”

“I put it to you that there was no unlawful gathering that day.”

“I don’t know.”

The case continues on 7 November 2016, at 4 pm.

 

Author: Halimatou Ceesay