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My client was tortured to obtain statement, says Defence Counsel

Aug 7, 2010, 8:36 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

(Friday, 6th August 2010 issue)
Lawyer Borry S. Touray representing the former Inspector General of Police, Ensa Badjie, has claimed that his client was tortured before his cautionary statement was obtained from him.

"My lord, I don't want to let the cat out of the bag," he told the high court in Banjul yesterday.

This was the latest development in the criminal trial before Justice Amadi of ex police chief Ensa Badjie and two senior military officers, Lt Col. Mam Matarr Secka and Major Kuluteh Manneh.

When the trial resumed on Thursday, Deputy DPP Mikailu Abdullahi told the court that the prosecution intends to call its second witness, since the 1st witness was still not available.

Testifying as the prosecution's second witness (PW2), Inspector Salieu Gomez, a detective officer at police headquarters in Banjul, told the court that he obtained the cautionary statement from the 1st accused, Ensa Badjie, on 16th March 2010 in the presence of an independent witness.

Subsequently, Abdullahi applied to tender the said statement as an exhibit, but defence counsel BS Touray objected.

According to counsel, no notice was given to the defence that this witness was coming to testify, and that the witness's testimony was not included in the summary of evidence provided to the defence. He submitted that the defence was taken by surprise, by the prosecution, in this particular witness.

"I received this notice this morning, and the prosecution did not make his intention clear with regards to this witness," he added.

"I want to interview my client on this issue, whether he had made this statement voluntarily or not. My lord, in fact, my client was tortured before this statement was obtained from him," the defence counsel added.

Deputy DPP Abdullahi in response said PW2?s evidence was among the list of evidence attached to the summary of the evidence provided to the defence.

Defence counsel BS Touray then applied for the court to stand down to enable him study the contents of the said statement, and to also consult his client.

However, Justice Amadi said he will not allow a stand down, but an adjournment. The case was subsequently adjourned to today.

The ex-IGP and two senior military officers were indicted and arraigned at the high court under a 51-count charge including conspiracy to commit felony, obtaining money by false pretence, economic crime, obtaining goods by false pretence, official corruption, sedition, abuse of office, among others.