EX-intelligence officer claims junglers claims 2006 suspected coupists

Feb 5, 2021, 10:11 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

The former deputy director of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Foday Momodou Hydara, in his TRRC testimony revealed that most of the suspects of 2006 Ndure Cham’s abortive coup were tortured by the junglers before their appearance at the investigative panel.

Testifiying on the nature of the NIA, Hydara said the NIA was an institution that operated on wishes of former President Yahya Jammeh. He added that the NIA officers used to monitor and spy on political parties to the advantage of the then government.

The witness said among other illegal things that the NIA was involved in was to tap mobile phones of politicians who they believed could create problem in the political environment.

On the allegation that the NIA officers used to involve in drug trafficking, Hydara said it wasn’t happening during his time but said he was involved in investigating one drug saga. 

Giving account of the March 2006 abortive coup, Mr. Hydara told the commission that they had a source who informed them about the planned coup. 

“When Daba Marena got the information, he briefed the counter terrorism unit to handle the matter as he was away with the President in Mauritania. When things were calmed, Bunja Darboe was brought to the NIA by Alhagie Martin, Manlafi Corr and other soldiers who told me that the president ordered for immediate start of the investigation. The way I saw Bunja, I knew he was brutalised because I saw his arm broken.”

He added that Bunja was interviewed after two hours of his arrival at the NIA, adding that he was later joined by officials from the police and the military. He said the junglers were later present with their masks and it was intimidating.

Hydara said the rights of the suspects were never respected, saying that moment was a disaster in the country.

He confirmed to the commission that there was no proper rule of law, saying some of the suspects were beaten before facing the panel.

Commenting on Wassa Camara’s statement before the TRRC that he saw a broken tooth, some blood and a hammer on the desk of the investigators, the witness denied that, rather admitting Wassa was slapped by Baba Saho in the presence of the panel.

“The junglers were responsible for tortures outside the panel in which we objected. We told those in power: Harry Sambou and Lang Tombong to stop beating the suspects but they didn’t. To my understanding it was Jammeh who gave orders for the junglers to torture suspects because he enjoys seeing people in pain. We all knew at the moment that the junglers were brutal and could do whatever they wanted and nothing would come out of it."

At this juncture Counsel Faal ordered a televised testimony of Pierre Mendy, who claimed that he (Hydara) gave the command for his torture by the junglers. However, Hydara denied the allegation, saying he just ordered him out because he was not cooperating. 

“Daba Marena appeared before the commission once and his story never changed till we heard he was executed. I know the execution of Daba must come from President Jammeh.”

Witness revealed he was once arrested and taken to Mile 2 before his subsequent release.