Court asks Yanks’ lawyer to provide full high court judgement

Jun 14, 2022, 12:13 PM | Article By: Alagie Baba

The president of the Gambia Court of Appeal on Monday ordered lawyer Abdoulai Sisohor representing Yankuba Touray to provide the full judgement of the high court and his brief of argument.

There were missing pages in the High Court judgment as contained in the recording of proceedings filed before the court.

There were also missing pages from Lawyer Sisohor's brief of argument he filed at the high court in respect of this case.

This order by the Court of Appeal was made after Senior State Counsel Muhammed B. Sowe informed the court that Volume 2 of the Record of Proceedings had some missing pages which needed to be provided.

The missing pages were 4, 6,7,8,35 and 61 of the High Court Judgement and pages 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 of the Brief of Argument.

Barrister Abdoulai Sisohor for Yankuba Touray proposed to the court to allow for the judgement and brief of argument to be filed as supplement to the Record of Proceedings with a view to save time.

Sisohor's request was not objected by State Counsel Sowe.

The judges ordered that the full Judgement and full Brief of Argument be filed instead of filing only the missing pages.

The case was adjourned to the 27th June 2022 at 10 a.m. for proof of service and ordering of briefs.

Touray was on the 14th July 2021 sentenced to death by the high court by hanging after he was found guilty of the murder of former Minister of Finance, Ousman Koro Ceesay in 1995 at his residence in Kololi by beating him with a pestle like object and other dangerous weapons.

Touray was convicted of murder by the high court, a decision he is now challenging before the Court of Appeal. He wants the Court of Appeal to acquit and discharge him of the offence for which he was convicted and sentenced.

The convict, Mr Touray said Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court failed to properly evaluate the evidence adduced by the prosecution before making his decision. Touray added that except Alagie Kanyi (prosecution witness six), none of the prosecution witnesses’ oral testimonies or documentary evidence adduced before the high court shows or proves that his acts  caused the death of Ousman Koro Ceesay.

Touray said Alagie Kanyi’s testimony was unreliable, inconsistent and uncorroborated. It is the appellant’s case that the high court judge misdirected himself on the facts and wrongly convicted him.

Yankuba Touray said Alagie Kanyi made several statements, and his written and oral statement before the high court and TRRC were inconsistent. Touray said Exhibit D6, which is a certified true copy of the witness statement of Alagie Kanyi dated 7th March 2019 was inconsistent with his oral evidence under cross-examination. Touray said Exhibit D8, the official manuscript of Alagie Kanyi at the TRRC dated 28th February 2019 is also inconsistent with his testimony at trial. Touray emphasised that Exhibit D5, which was certified copy of the record of proceedings in the case of The State versus Yankuba Touray and Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay, whereby Alagie Kanyi admitted making false allegation against him and Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay. Touray said the high court judge failed to evaluate the evidence adduced under cross-examination.

Touray said the high court judge failed to take into account the charge he was facing. He said Exhibits P3 and P3A clearly showed the cause of death of Ousman Koro Ceesay, adding prosecution witness five stated in evidence that the Fire Service commissioned a report of the said accident and this report was not tendered in evidence by the prosecution. He added that there was no direct or circumstantial evidence produced at the trial to show or prove that his act or omission caused Ousman Koro Ceesay’s death.

He said Ensa Mendy (PW2), Amat Jangum (PW3) and Alagie Kanyi (PW6) all admitted under cross-examination that he did not cause the death of Ousman Koro Ceesay.

He said the high court judge failed to take into account the following admitted facts by Alagie Kanyi and other witnesses under cross-examination: Alagie Kanyi admitted under cross-examination that he was dropped off at his residence between 6 pm and 7 pm while Ensa Mendy (PW2) and Prosecution Witness 4 both admitted under cross-examination that Alagie Kanyi was not at his residence at this time; that Kanyi’s testimony was not true. Touray said Ensa Mendy and Prosecution Witness 4 informed the court that they returned to his residence between 8 pm and 10 pm arguing that it was not practicably possible for Kanyi to be at his residence at that time. He said both defence witnesses 1 and 2 testified that they were at home from 6 pm to 1 am, adding this piece of evidence was not challenged or uncontroverted under cross-examination. He said the high court judge’s reliance on the evidence of Prosecution Witnesses 5 and 6 to corroborate the evidence of Prosecution Witness is not borne out of the testimony adduced at trial. He added that PW5 admitted under cross-examination that he was not part of the investigation team and all the steps he took to investigate the alleged crime was done on a frolic of his own and he did not report his finding to the Inspector General of Police at the time.