Dec 15, 2008, 7:08 AM
(Friday 14th February 2020 Issue)
Defence Counsel Abdoulie Sissoho, who is representing Yankuba Touray, ex-junta member, in a murder trial, on the 13th February, 2020, cross-examined Alagie Kanyi who had already testified before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court in Banjul.
He asked him whether he previously made a statement about the accused. The witness responded in the positive. He also asked him whether it was not true that he had made a statement regarding the accused which he confirmed to the court.
The state counsel, A.M. Yusuf, objected to the question asked. He said that by virtue of the Evidence Act, the witness could not be asked any question that may tend to expose him to a criminal charge, citing Section 178 of the Evidence Act.
The defence counsel replied that the question was relevant and they were testing the veracity of the evidence of the witness, noting that the question would not expose the witness to a criminal charge. However, the presiding judge ruled that the question asked would expose the witness to a criminal charge and disallowed it.
The defence counsel then asked the witness whether it was true that he made statements regarding the accused. He answered in the positive. “Tell the court what were the statements,” Counsel Sissoho told him. In response, he stated that on the 2nd July, 2019, he was called at Kairaba Police Station in connection with the murder of Koro Ceesay.
“Is it not true that you also made a statement regarding the accused and Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay?” he enquired. The state counsel objected to the question asked on the grounds that it was not relevant in the proceedings, citing Section 201 of the Evidence Act. He argued that the charge before the court is the state against Yankuba Touray.
Counsel Sissoho replied that the objection by the state counsel was misconceived. He dwelled on Section 201, 202 and 203 of the Evidence Act to support his argument. “The purpose of cross-examination is to discredit the witness and test the veracity of his evidence. I urge the court to discountenance the objection made by the state counsel,” he told the court.
On points of law, the state counsel told the court that specific provision takes precedence over general provision. The presiding judge ruled that the question asked by the defence was in connection to a matter which was not relevant to the case before the court.
Counsel Sissoho then asked again: “Kanyi, did you not testify before Justice Amina Saho-Ceesay regarding the accused?”
“This is my first appearance regarding Yankuba Touray in a murder case,” Mr. Kanyi answered.
The witness was asked when he was enlisted in the army. He said it was on the 15th January, 1986. He was asked what his intake number was, and he replied that it was intake 5. He was also asked whether he knew the intake number of Edward Singhateh. He answered that he could not remember.
He also told the court that he was not in the same intake number as Peter and Yankuba who was in intake number 6. “Is it not true that you never had personal relationship with Peter Singhateh?” he was asked. In response, he said that they had because Peter Singhateh was his commander.
The case was adjourned to the 24th February, 2020, for continuation.