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David Colley Cross-examined in Musa Suso Case

Apr 24, 2009, 6:33 AM | Article By: Modou Sanyang & Pa Modou Faal

The Director General of Prisons, David Colley, was yesterday cross-examined by defence counsel Lamin Jobarteh as the trial of Musa Suso continued.

The accused Musa Suso is standing trial on charges of giving false information to a public officer.

Testifying under cross-examination, the prison boss told the court that he got enlisted into the Prisons service on 1st September 1976. He added that he was appointed Director General of Prisons in 2003, adding that he possessed a Secondary Four Certificate. He said under cross-examination that he could recall going to Morocco to attend a conference on prison reform. He added under cross-examination that after his return from Morocco he got a letter from the NIA about telephone calls being made at the prison cell.

According to David Colley, he summoned all his lieutenants with regard to the letter and shown them the letter, adding he ordered a search to be conducted. He said officers and recruits carried out a search. He admitted under cross-examination that a sim card, money, perfume, cannabis, and a key, were found in the cells, adding that the items found were brought to his office. He denied under cross-examination that any officer suggested that the matter be handled internally. He said he went to the Ministry of Interior to inform them what had happened when he was absent from office. He responded in the affirmative that the Minister of Interior ordered a meeting of the IGP, and the Heads of Prison, Fire Service, NIA and NDEA respectively. He said at the meeting that it was resolved that the matter be forwarded to the Police for investigation. He said he has never appeared before the panel. He added that the items found were handed over to the police for investigation, but he did not know whether it was investigated.

David Colley agreed under cross-examination that he was arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates' Court on a criminal matter and he was been represented by lawyer Antuman Gaye. He said upon his arrest he gave a statement to the Serious Crime Unit and he wrote his own statement. He said if the court order to bring the record of the convicted prisoners that died between the year 2003 to 2007, he would search for the names.

The court later ordered David Colley to produce the records of the convicted prisoners that died between 2003 to 2007. He also vehemently denied under cross-examination that some prisoners died as a result of the dead bull that they eat while serving prison sentences. He also refutes the assertion by the defence counsel that the dead bull was collected from Yundum with Prison Truck 10. He said a bull or cows donated to prison was killed by prisoners and officers. He adduced that he did not see the report of the panel investigating the dead bull and items found in the prison cells. He said one satellite was donated by Ndey Conteh and was installed by the maintenance team, comprises his officers. He denied that when the satellite was installed he ordered a wire and TV set to be passed to Batch Faye, an inmate. He said he did not make complaints anywhere that the accused Musa Suso made false information against him. He equally said also that he never made a statement to the Police that the accused Musa Suso made false information against him. He said he had never been confronted with Musa Suso about the allegation. He also said under cross-examination he was never confronted with any statement written by Ebou Khan, and also he was not aware of being confronted with Musa Suso, Ebou Khan and himself in any issue. He said he had never been confronted by Ndey Conteh about the satellite. He said the investigators from the Police came and asked about the dead bull but of which he replied in the negative. He said he was not aware of the panel and he knows nothing about the panel. He said he knows Sidia Jatta who painted two prison trucks, adding it was the ministry who told him to send the prison trucks to Sidia Jatta. He added that the Ministry of Interior paid for the painting of the trucks. Lawyer Jobarteh put to David Colley that Sidia Jatta was introduced to him by the accused Musa Suso and was never paid.

The case was adjourned to 7th May 2009.