Alleged notorious torturer denies allegations

Jan 29, 2021, 10:30 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Lamin Darboe, adversely mentioned as torturer who yesterday testified before the Truth Commission denied his involvement in series of tortures alleged by several witnesses.

The Intelligence agent, whose highest level of education is grade 9, started as gate man at the agency before he was moved as orderly and rose through the ranks as officer commanding Operations in Gunjur.

The witness denied being the most notorious torturer at NIA, saying he never beat, detained or brought anybody to the NIA premises – a claim he later admitted.

Quizzed on the issue of Lamin Karbo and colleagues, Mr. Darboe said after arresting the suspects, he spent a night at Bakoteh Guest House. And the following morning, a man came into the guest house and he chased him. According to him, the man wanted to jump over a fence to escape, but he (Darboe) shot him in the leg.

"I was part of the team that arrested Babou Cham and I escorted him to Banjul and that was the time I left for Bakoteh Guest House. I didn't beat Babou Cham or strip him naked; and in fact I didn't get inside the conference house where interrogation was going on."

Dwelling on the claim that he (Darboe) beat Ansumanna Fatty and nearly cut his private part, he replied in the negative, saying he never knew or interacted with Ansumanna.

The witness also totally denied torturing Lamin Sima and Lamin Karbo in the same operation.

On the issue of Abass Jarjue, he testified that Abass was arrested for his involvement in having boxes of monies, which interested former President Jammeh. 

"The boxes were traced and brought to the agency, and we realised it was cement blocks that were packed inside to fake us.”

He confirmed that he took Abass to the torture chamber because he did not confess, adding he didn't beat Abass and Juku Sowe in that operation.

Darboe totally denied every allegation brought before him, saying all those who testified against him before the commission lied.

Mr. Darboe accepted arresting Sarjo Touray of Fajikunda but denied torturing him. He added that he took every responsibility for the act of his officers or things associated with him by his juniors.

He also denied knowing a butcher who was alleged to have stolen Jammeh's cattle.

"I arrested and detained Yusupha Saidy in my office and that was in connection with an Arab. After his arrest, I discovered that the Arabs had a business deal with Yusupha to transport some containers from Ivory Coast."

Darboe further stated that he never arrested Sam Kambai who was accused of selling weapons to the rebels and did not interact with him.

Sam Kambai in his testimony alleged that Darboe participated in beating him naked. However, Mr. Darboe said the allegation is false and unfounded.