Mar 17, 2009, 5:16 AM | Article By: Yai Dibba & Binta Fatty
Two men yesterday testified as prosecution witnesses in the ongoing Babylon village trial.
Thirty-two people have been charged with arson, conspiracy, wilful damage to property and going armed in public. They are alleged to have attacked the house of Lamin Jarjue in Babylonon the 29th March 2008 and set it on fire.
Ninety-five people were arrested and arraigned and were granted court bail.
Charges were later dropped against some and only forty-seven were re-arrested and charged, of which thirty-two are currently remanded at Mile II prison.
Testifying, Ebou Fofana, a driver living in Lamin village, said on the fateful day between 4 and he received information from one Lamin Jarjue of Babylon that the people of Kerewan village are on a meeting and they said that they were going to attack Babylon. He said upon receiving that information he then called one Hinna and asked him to inform the police about it. He added that from there he called one Foday Jammeh at the Yundum Barracks and informed him, and as a result some soldiers were deployed to the area where they spent the night and left in the morning. He adduced that when the soldiers left while at the house of Lamin Jarjue's sister, Nyima Jarjue, one Bakary Jarjue informed him that Babylon was under attack. He told the court that when he went out to see what was happening, he saw the accused persons with cutlasses, diggers, axes, knives and guns advancing towards the house of Lamin Jarjue. He said when they reached the house of Lamin Jarjue he sighted Nuha Jammeh, Modou Colley, Buli Colley, Yusupha Badjie and Abdoulie Colley holding weapons and also set fire on the house and damaged the fence and then proceeded to Nyima Jarjue and Fatou Marong's houses and set fire on them. He also identified Kemo Manneh, Alagie Njie, Abdou Colley as among those who set fire on the houses. He said he also saw Buli Colley rush to a well and dropped something into it and he went to see what might have been dropped into the well, and realised that the water was somehow boiling.
He further told the court that he entered his vehicle and wanted to go away from the scene, but the accused persons started throwing stones at his vehicle and smashed his windscreen in the process.
Also testifying, Abdoulie Sarr, a resident of Babylon told the court that his own house was set on fire. He said while they were advancing towards his house the accused persons were telling him to run away if not they would kill him. He decided to run for his life. He said about 25 metres away he saw them using diggers and axes and damaged his house and later set fire on it.
The accused persons have denied the charges.
Earlier on, Monday 9th March 2009, Lamin Jarjue testified as the first prosecution witness.