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Ex-army officer cross-examined

Jun 12, 2012, 12:16 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

Lt. Col Mam Matarr Secka, former officer commanding the army transport unit, and overseeing the military police unit, was yesterday cross-examination, at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

Mam Matarr Secka is being tried alongside former police chief Ensa Badjie and Major Kuluteh Manneh.

The former army officer told the court that during the course of the investigation against the family of Sillaba Samateh, headed by the 3rd accused person, Major Kuluteh Manneh, he gave his number to the wife of Sillaba Samateh, but he (Secka) had never collected the number of Awa Samateh.

He added that the only time he visited the compound was at the time a team of officers were sent to Sillaba’s compound to confirm the allegations made against the family of Sillaba.

“I deemed it necessary to go there in order to solve the problem,” he stated, adding that he had never visited Sillaba in his house, and that the first time he met Sillaba was at the Kotu Police Station.

Secka told the court that he was enlisted into the security services in 1982, and was born in 1961, stating that he went to primary school in 1968.

He adduced that he never had a problem with the NIA prior to the investigation of this case, but going by the way and the manner he was detained, it seemed they had something against him.

“I did not know Jawo Keita, but Jawo Keita saidhe knew me and had seen me in many independence anniversary celebrations,” he added.

The witness denied being the friend of the 1st accused person, but knew the 1st accused as the then IGP; also denying having received any monetary gift from Sillaba.

Secka further told the court he could not say  Jawurr Keita was not among  those who inflicted torture on him.

He maintained that exhibit P2 was a complete fabrication, even though the signature on it was his signature.

 He signed it as a result of the torture inflicted on him, and therefore the statement did not belong to him, he asserted.

The case continues on 14 June 2012.