Yankuba & co mini-trial continues

Thursday, November 08, 2018

The mini-trial to determine the voluntariness of the cautionary and voluntary statements of the seven former officials of the defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA) continued yesterday before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara at the High Court in Banjul.

Testifying before the court, first class Omar B. Sanyang, a police officer attached to the Serious Crime Unit of The Gambia Police Headquarters in Banjul stated that he recorded the cautionary and voluntary statements of Lamin Darboe at the Serious Crime Unit office in Banjul in the presence of an independent witness.

The witness told the court that before recording the accused person’s statements he read the cautionary words to him in Mandinka language.

He further told the court that the accused person asked him (the witness) to write his statement.

Omar B. Sanyang testified that he obtained one cautionary statement and two voluntary statements from Lamin Darboe.

The said statements were given to the witness and after identifying them as the very documents he recorded, counsel R.Y. Mendy applied to tender the said statements as exhibits.

This was vehemently objected to by lawyer S. Fatty of the Legal Agency on the grounds that Lamin Darboe was induced with promises and that the proper procedure was followed at the time of obtaining the said statements.

Lawyer S. Fatty also submitted that there were no independent witness present at the time of recording the said statements and therefore urged the court to reject same.

The witness was, however, asked to step out of the witness box and the lead prosecutor, A.A.B. Gaye informed the court that the next witness the prosecution intends to call is one Karanlang Badjie who was indisposed.

Lawyer Gaye assured the court Karanlang Badjie’s senior at the Serious Crime Unit made undertaking to go to his house.

Lawyer Gaye informed the court that the prosecution of the notice of additional exhibits filed on the 21st May, 2018.

Lawyer A.A.B. Gaye then called on his junior counsel, Aji Combeh Gaye to furnish the court with details of the additional exhibits.

Lawyer Aji Combeh Gaye revealed that some of the exhibits have already been tendered before the court in evidence.

She disclosed that some of the exhibits include hand gloves purportedly used for the exhumation of late Solo Sandeng, the Hospital log book.

She said the prosecution was ready to furnish the defence with the transcripts of both the audio and video recording of some of the detainees at the defunct NIA which was played before the court.

Hearing continues on Monday, 12th November, 2018.   

Author: Bruce Asemota