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Defence continues in Babylon 14 trial

Jul 14, 2014, 10:16 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The fourth and fifth defence witnesses in the Babylon trial involving Babylon Alkalo Lamin B. Jarju and 13 others testified on Thursday before Principal Magistrate Dayoh M. Small-Dago of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court.

In his testimony, Sulayman Colley, the fourth defence witness (DW4) and the 8th accused told the court he is a borehole driller who lives in Babylon.

He said that on the day in question he was going to a shop when he met with security officers who confronted him and told him to enter a vehicle and he asked them why he should do so, but they told him to enter the vehicle as he would know later.

“They pointed a gun at me when I refused to enter the vehicle. I later entered and I found some people arrested already while others were arrested at different places in Babylon. Some of my co-accused were known to me during our detention at Holgam in Kanifing,” he said.

He said before they arrested him, they asked him if he knew Lamin B. Jarju and he replied in the affirmative and he was then asked to enter the vehicle.

He added that all those who were arrested including him were forced to enter the vehicle with a gun pointed at them.

According to him, the security officers asked the arrestees whether they knew Alkalo Jarju, adding that they later drove to the Alkalo’s compound where they spent fifteen minutes and later proceeded to Kerewan.

He said while they were passing by Kerewan, the vehicle stopped and the operation commander together with three other men asked Lamin B. Jarju to come out of the vehicle.

DW4 further stated that Lamin came out of the vehicle and stood three meters away and one officer kicked him until he fell down and all the others jumped on him and started whipping him while he was on the ground.

He added that an officer called Jagne, the operation commander, took a gun from another officer and hit Lamin on the head and blood started oozing out of his body and they later moved to Holgam.

The witness said while at Holgam, the security personnel took photos of them individually and later kept them in what he called ‘a one man cell.’

He said they did not give any statement at Holgam.

“I only know Francis Mendy when he testified in this matter. I also know Valentine Ndeki in this case and I only see the farm of Francis during the locus visit,” he said.

He said it was not true that he was part of a group that set fire on his orchard, neither was he part of a group that cut 275 cashew trees. He as well denied conspiring with anyone to do something unlawful.

Momodou Demba, the fifth defence witness (DW5), also testified.

The matter was adjourned till 15 July 2014, for other defence witnesses to testify.