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Defence counsel threatens to withdraw representation for Yanks

Feb 4, 2020, 1:05 PM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Abdoulie Sissoho, the defence counsel representing Yankuba Touray in a murder case, informed the High Court in Banjul on 3 February, 2020 that he would withdraw his representation for the accused. The case is before Mr. Justice Ebrima Jaiteh.

This followed an application made by the state counsel for the court to adjourn the case to enable him to go through the evidence of the 4th prosecution witness, Lamin Ndure, so that he would be able to re-examine him.

Counsel Sissoho was not happy about it because he felt that the state counsel was wasting the time of the court. He argued that the state counsel could have re-examined the witness immediately at the end of his testimony. “If the trend continues, I will withdraw my representation for the accused and he can look for another lawyer,” Counsel Sissoho told the court.

Continuing his testimony, the witness, Lamin Ndure, stated that he knew Koro Ceesay as a minister in 1995. He noted that he could remember the day when he was coming from the office with Ensa Mendy. He testified that he went home with Ensa Mendy and met one guard commander, Amat Jangum, who told him that he (the witness) should take Yankuba’s family to Edward Singhateh’s home at Cape Point. He revealed that he could remember taking Yankuba’s family to Edward’s residence at 8 p.m. 

He narrated that he took the family from Yankuba’s home and later came back, adding that Jangum told him that he should take them (the guards) on patrol.  He said he did so and came back and found cars at the gate of the accused, noting that he then went out to see his friend. “When I came back, I did not find the cars there. I went inside the house and did not find anybody in,” he told the court.

He adduced that he found out that the odour was not welcoming, stating further that in the morning he heard on the radio that Koro Ceesay had passed away in a car accident. He said it was rumour.

Under cross-examination, he was asked whether he saw Koro Ceesay with the junta members at any time, and he answered in the negative. He was also asked whether he saw the deceased with Yankuba. He said he did not. Asked whether he saw the deceased and the accused living in the same compound, he said he did not.

He was asked how long he had worked for the accused. In response, he said over a year. It was put to him that he never lived with the accused in the same compound. He stated that he used to spend the night at the guard room at the residence of the accused. He added that there were four military personnel at the guard room but later said they were three in number.

He noted that the accused had two children at the time and his wife was there, stating that the relatives of the wife of the accused were also at the residence of the accused. He said there was a maid as well. It was put to him that he said that Jangum instructed him to take the family of the accused to Edward’s home. He was asked how many of them were in the car, but said he could not remember.

He informed the court that two children were in the car and he was also in the car with Jangum. He was challenged that his narration of events was not correct. He testified that he said what he knew. “Do you know what happened to Koro Ceesay?” Counsel Sissoho enquired. He told the court that he did not know anything, except what he was told.

Hearing continues today.