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PIU officer cross-examined in UDP 14 trial

Nov 28, 2016, 10:07 AM | Article By: Bruce Asemota

Lamin Cham, a PIU officer and the 4th prosecution witness in the ongoing criminal trial involving the state against 14 UDP supporters, continued his testimony under cross-examination at the high court in Banjul, before presiding Judge O. Ottaba on Thursday 24 November 2016.

The accused persons are Bakary Jammeh, Kaddy Samateh, Lele Bojang, Alkali Sanneh, Yaya Fatty, Muhammed Singhateh, Kemo Touray, Bakary Marong, Buba Mass, Alagie Saidykhan, Tombong Njie, Modou Sarr, Sheriff Suso and Lamin Dampha.

They are being tried on a seven-count charge of conspiracy to commit felony, unlawful assembly, riot, incitement of violence, interference with vehicles, holding procession without a permit and disobeying an order to disperse.

When the matter came up, lawyer Awa Sisay-Sabally who led the defence team informed the court that lawyer B.S. Touray was conducting the cross-examination.

“Were you trained in crowd control?”

“Yes, my lord.”

“Were you issued with any certificate?”

“No, my lord.”

“Can you tell the court your first duty, when you are approaching a crowd as a police officer?”

“I approached the crowd professionally as a police officer.”

“Is there any difference between a police officer and a non-police officer?”

“Yes, there is a difference.”

“You told this court in your evidence-in-chief that we took our equipment and went to the rioters. What are the equipment?”

“It involves so many rifles, if you are not a police officer you will not know and, for security reasons, I am not here to disclose them.”

“Are you telling the court that you don’t know the names of the equipment or you are evading my question?”

“I know them, I am not here to disclose them for security reasons. They are confidential.”

“These are the same equipment that your officers are using when they are escorting the accused persons to court?”

“It is different from the one we are using when there is a riot.”

“Are you aware that on standard police beats rightfully, you are not allowed to be armed with combat weapons?”

“Rifle is part of our riot equipment.”

“You have just confirmed that rifle has no confidentiality, since you have already given us the name of one of them?”

“We use rifle during our day to day activities.”

“Did you share the same office with Superintendent Saine?”

“No, I work under him.”

“At the material time, on 9 May, where were you posted?”

“At the Kanifing PIU barracks.”

“It is correct that you were not in Supretendant Saine’s office at the time he (Saine) received this information?”

“I was in the barracks on duty.”

“You were in barracks, and not in the office?”

“I have no office.”

“Are you aware that some of the accused persons were offered a lift from Banjul to Old Jeshwang by security personnel?”

“Not to my knowledge.”

“Are you aware that some of the accused were offered lift to Westfield Junction by some security personnel?”

“I don’t know.”

“It is correct that you don’t even know the accused persons by their names?”

“Yes, I don’t know their names.”

“Do you have a diary of action in this particular matter?”

“No, my lord.”

“It is also correct that you don’t know the total number of people, who was arrested on 9 May 2016?”

“I cannot remember.”

“Is it correct that other than the rifle there were other equipment with lethal effect?”

“I can only tell you about the rifle, because we use it every day.”

“Did you know that crowd control is a course all by itself, that is taught?”


“Do you know that those who write the course are certificated at the end of the course?”

“I do crowd control every day as part of my duty, but I have not seen anybody who is certificated on crowd control.”

“Before you went back to your base or as you were going back to your base, did you collect anything from ICE Man Junction?”

“No, my lord”

“I put it to you that on this day, so many people were arrested at ICE Man Junction, who went out and about their normal errands?”

“No, my lord.”

“I am putting it to you further that many people were also arrested at Westfield, who were out and about their normal errands?”

“I don’t know.”

“Is it correct that all these people, you did not have any personal problem with them?”

“We only arrested those we have a problem with.”

“It is also correct that nobody called you by your name and insulted you?”

“No, my lord.”

“Were you at Kairaba Avenue on this day?”

“No, my lord.”

“Were you aware that some people were arrested at Kairaba Avenue on this day?”

“I cannot remember.”

At this point, defence counsel B.S. Touray sought for an adjournment and the matter was adjourned for today at 4.00pm.