Oct 25, 2011, 11:23 AM
Sainey Ndure, a police detective Sub-inspector attached to the Major Crimes unit of Gambia Police Force on Thursday testified before Justice M.M. Yamoa of the Banjul High Court in the trial of Hamadi Sowe, a marabout.
Hamadi Sowe is standing trial on the offence of concealment of treason with regard to the 21st March 2006 foiled coup.
Testifying under cross-examination, Sub-inspector Ndure told the court that he has had 23 years service in the police and has been a detective officer for 19 years. He said that when the accused was arrested, he was escorted by armed soldiers to the Major Crimes office at the NIA. He revealed that at the NIA the accused was taken before a 13-member panel of security officers for questioning. Officer Ndure further told the court that he obtained the cautionary statement from the accused on 30th May 2006 at the NIA, while the voluntary statement was taken from the accused on 19th April 2006 at the conference room of Mile 2 prisons, noting that the accused thumb-printed the statement twice and signed one part of the statement. " I was not satisfied with the accused's signature. That is why I asked him to thumb-print the statement," he added.
Sub-Inspector Ndure categorically denied using threats to get the accused to thumb-print the statement and also denied reminding the accused of his ordeal at the NIA. Officer Ndure also denied the presence of armed soldiers during the recording of the statement, maintaining that the accused gave his statement in a very good atmosphere. He also maintained that the independent witness was present at the time of recording the statement. " I was not aware that the accused was being held at the maximum security wing of Mile 2 prison," he stated. He told the court that the late Major Musa Jammeh was not responsible for detaining and releasing suspects, adding that the late Major Musa Jammeh was not part of the panel. He maintained that all what he said in court was the truth.
The case at that juncture was adjourned to 2nd July.