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More documents tendered in Casamance rebels' trial

Feb 11, 2011, 12:34 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The Director of Special Litigations at the Attorney General's Chambers, Daniel O. Kulo, yesterday tendered in court as prosecution exhibits voluntary and cautionary statements the investigators obtained from 17 alleged Casamance rebels at the NIA.

The documents were all accepted and marked as court exhibits by the presiding judge Justice JE Ikpala.

However, some of the accused persons, believed to be rebels from the southern Senegalese Region of Casamance, raised an objection on the grounds that they are illiterates, could not read and write, and they could not also recall when their statements were obtained. However, some of them admitted it was their statement.

Meanwhile, the accused persons, including Yusupha Ceesay and Modou Lamin Badjie, Saku Jammeh, Zackaria Jatta, Tijan Camara, Mafuji Jarju, Abdoulie Sonko, Hatab Jatta, Abdou Badjie, Ebrima Jarju, Sang Sambou, Basiru Jammeh, Seedy Sanyang, Tumani Manga, Alasana Jarju and Aziz Kujabi, all denied the charge.

Their indictment includes unlawful possession of firearms in the Republic of The Gambia, and illegal entry into The Gambia.

Testifying, the prosecution third witness, Jamanthy Kebbeh, a police officer attached to police headquarters in Banjul, told the court that, while he was at the National Intelligence Agency, the accused persons were brought for interrogation, adding that they were all interrogated one after the other.

He told the court that he cautioned the accused persons together with three police officers, namely Ousaman F. Bah, Simon Jatta, and Pierre John Mendy, all of whom have left for further studies abroad.

The witness also tendered the statements recorded from the accused persons by his colleagues, who are currently out of the country.

Kebbeh further told the court that the panel members took the discovered arms and ammunitions to the army headquarters for ballistics examination, adding that the examination was carried out by Major General Ousman Badjie.

The witness recognised the report in court, which D.O Kulo applied to tender. It was marked and admitted as a prosecution exhibit without any objection from the accused persons, who have no legal representation.

The case was at this stage adjourned till 16th February 2011, for the accused persons to cross-examine the witness.

The 17 accused persons were previously arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates' Court on Wednesday 13th October 2010, charged with one count of being in possession of an assortment of arms of war and ammunitions without authority. The case was later transferred to the Special Criminal Court of the High Court in Banjul.

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