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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 03 Mar 2019 : 14:09:30
Arrest and Detention of Former AFPRC Junta Member and Minister, Yankuba Touray
REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND
GRTS BUILDING, MDI ROAD, KANIFING, THE GAMBIA, WEST AFRICA.
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON
Dated: 3rd March 2019
Gambia Government Confirms Arrest and Detention of Former AFPRC Junta Member and Minister, Yankuba Touray
Banjul, The Gambia—The Government of The Gambia hereby confirms the arrest, detention and charge of Mr. Yankuba Touray, a former AFPRC junta member and Minister who held various portfolios under Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year Presidency.
Touray, who was arrested earlier on Saturday is under police custody and faces criminal charges under “Section 36(a)(b) of TRRC Act, 2017.” Police investigations into the matter are ongoing and Mr. Touray is expected to appear in court sometime this week.
Yankuba Touray’s arrest follows a complaint by the Ministry of Justice over concerns expressed by the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) that the subject was either attempting to tamper or interfering with its witness, ex-army Sergeant, Alagie Kanyi, or attempting to pervert the cause of justice by concealing evidence that could potentially incriminate him and junta colleagues in alleged atrocities and extra-judicial executions meted out to citizens while in power.
Sergeant Kanyi, a confessed murderer and assassin who appeared before the TRRC on Thursday the 28th of February, 2019, provided probably the most damning testimony against the former regime as he revealed the harrowing details of state-sanctioned murders among them, the chilling finality of former Finance Minister, Ousman Koro Ceesay in which, Mr. Touray is implicated.
In view of this matter, The Gambia Government wishes to re-echo the admonitions of the TRRC’s Vice Chairperson, Mrs. Adelade Sosseh and lead-Counsel, Mr. Essa Faal, that the Commission’s mandate was to establish the truth, reconcile Gambians and make recommendations to Government.
Furthermore, The Gambia Government wishes to make it categorically clear that any attempt to interfere with TRRC witnesses, their testimonies or tampering and or concealing evidence
formerly or informally, is utterly criminal and punishable by law.
Therefore, The Gambia Government urges citizens to take the TRRC very seriously and will not under any circumstances condone any attempt by anybody to interfere with its operations either directly or indirectly and any person(s) found wanting will face the full force of the law.
Ebrima G. Sankareh
The Gambia Government Spokesperson
Tel: (220) 4378000 Fax: (220) 4378029 E-mail: email@example.com website: www. moici.gov.gm
Related topic: At the TRRC: Perpetrator explains gruesome murder
|4 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 13 Jun 2019 : 15:37:35
High Court discharges Yankuba Touray, FJC
The Point: Thursday, June 13, 2019
Justice Amina Saho-Ceesay of the High Court in Banjul on 12 June, 2019, discharged Yankuba Touray and Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay. The duo were charged with interfering with an informant or a witness, an allegation they denied.
When the case was called, Lawyer Lamin S. Camara announced that he was representing Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay together with Counsel Sanneh.
Defence Counsel Abdoulie Sissoho also announced his representation for Yankuba Touray.
The presiding judge then told the court that the Attorney General had filed a nolle prosequi (to discontinue prosecution of the case). She then asked Lawyer Lamin S. Camara whether he was served with a copy of the nolle prosequi by the state counsel.
Lawyer Camara informed the court that he had not been served with the nolle prosecui. Counsel Sissoho then told the court that he did not know why the nolle prosequi was filed.
State Counsel A.M. Yusuf stood then informed the court that the state would not proceed with the case. He formally urged the court to discharge the accused persons accordingly.
Counsel Camara said they had no objection to the application made by the state counsel but stated that they wished to apply for a consequential order, further noting that the order for the discharge of the accused persons should be undertaken pursuance to the bond and all the travelling documents of the accused should be handed back to them in compliance with the condition of the bond.
Counsel Sissoho then told the court that he adopted the application made by Lawyer Camara. He went on to say that the title deeds of the accused deposited at the High Court should be returned to them.
State Counsel Yusuf replied that he had no objection.
The presiding judge subsequently granted the application by the state for the nolle prosequi and ordered that the travelling documents of the accused persons be surrendered to them, as well as their title deeds. She then discharged the accused persons.
The first prosecution witness, Alagie Kanyi, earlier testified before Justice Amina Saho-Ceesay that neither Yankuba Touray nor Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay told him not to cooperate with the TRRC. He said they also never told him to conceal evidence and not to appear before the TRRC.
Author: Dawda Faye
||Posted - 13 Jun 2019 : 09:02:33
The State Succumbed to Humiliating Defeat in the Criminal Case against Yankuba Touray and Fatoumatta
Gunjur News Online: June 12th 2019
By Lamin J Darbo
Contrary to the assertion of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the criminal allegation against Yankuba Touray and Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay was not dropped. It collapsed, and spectacularly.
Before a packed courtroom presided over by Her Ladyship Honourable Mrs Justice A. S. Ceesay at the High Court in Banjul on 20 May 2019, the star witness Alhagie Kanyi crumbled under incisive cross examination by Abdoulie Sisohor and Lamin S. Camara. The self-confessed killer was consistently incoherent, contradicted himself throughout and spoke nonsense to the pleasure of the gallery. What just desserts for a marauding and lying coward!
It was a disgraceful spectacle to watch.
That the State would progress such a hopeless case from the Magistrates Court to the High Court was not edifying behaviour. The Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions was hopelessly outmanoeuvred and left drifting in the deep waters of ignorance about the architecture of his irresponsible case and the nature of the witness that he proudly and joyously paraded before a distinguished Court. He courted disgrace and got it wonderfully.
I consulted with some lawyers watching the proceedings and we were agreed the case didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. Mr Kanyi was a pathetic witness but those who took the decision to prosecute such a ridiculous case disgraced themselves utterly.
The claim that the State is hesitant to create a new class of victims is utter rubbish not supportable by the journey of this baseless matter thus far.
I reiterate that the case was doomed and would have collapsed had the State not abandoned it.
||Posted - 05 Mar 2019 : 13:06:43
By Omar Bah 05/03/2019
Yankuba Touray, a former AFPRC junta member was yesterday charged before principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh Njie of the Kanifing Magistrates Court with tampering with a TRRC witness.
Touray denied any wrongdoing and he was granted bail. His bail conditions include D1 million with 2 Gambian sureties and a title deed within Greater Banjul Area. He was also prevented from leaving the country and restrained from any interference with proceedings of the TRRC.
Touray’s lawyer Abdoulie Sissoho argued that Touray has not traveled outside of The Gambia for the past five years and “he will not when granted bail.”
Touray was arrested on Saturday and detained at the Kairaba Police Station following the testimony of the Commission witness Alagie Kanyi, who claimed Touray called him to discourage him from testifying.
The police prosecutor Almameh Manga said Touray’s actions were meant to obstruct or interfere with the work of the Commission.
Kanyi, who confessed to killings of several soldiers and country’s former finance minister Ousman Koro Ceesay, claimed both Touray and Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay have phoned him about the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission.
If convicted, Touray could serve up to three years in jail or pay D1 million or both.
According to section 36 of the TRRC Act, any person who “threatens or interferes with an informant or a witness, or willfully obstructs or otherwise interferes with work of the Commission in the discharge of its functions, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one million dalasis or to imprisonment not exceeding three years or both a fine and imprisonment”.
The court resumes March 11
||Posted - 04 Mar 2019 : 21:38:20
Does The TRRC Need The Government To Speak For It Or Refer Cases To The High Court To Handle Contempt?
Foroyaa: March 4, 2019
QUESTION OF THE DAY
A Commission of enquiry speaks for itself and does not need any amplification from the executive. The TRRC should be totally independent of the Executive to which it should ultimately submit its preliminary and final reports. No member of the executive should issue press releases or statements on matters within the jurisdiction of the TRRC. Any such action would also constitute contempt of the TRRC. Law breakers have no authority to indict alleged law breakers.
Although section 15 (2) does make provision for the TRRC to send cases to the high court for contempt section 202 Subsection (2) of the Constitution has already given them the powers to handle such matters. Section 15 subsection (2) which reads as follows cannot oust the constitutional mandate:
“A person who –
(a) fails to answer a summons or subpoena issued by the Commission; or
(b) fails to answer questions of the Commission; or
(c) intentionally provides misleading or false information to the Commission, shall be deemed to be in contempt of court and may, be referred to the High Court for trial and punishment.”
On the other hand, The TRRC also has the powers of a high court in certain respects as stipulated in Section 202 Subsection (2) of the Constitution.
First and foremost, Section 202 Subsection (1) states,
“A Commission of inquiry shall-
(a) make a full and impartial investigation into the matter in respect of which the Commission is established; and
(b) furnish in writing a report on the results of the inquiry, including a statement of the reasons leading to the conclusions of the Commission.
“(2) A Commission of Inquiry shall have all the powers, rights and privileges of a judge of the High Court at a trial in respect of-
(a) enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath, affirmation or otherwise;
(b) compelling the production of documents;
c) issuing commission or request for the examination of witnesses abroad; and
d) making interim orders.”
Hence , any witness who is alleged to be interfering with the process could also be summoned to appear and explain his or her side of the story and be cautioned if his or her action did not tantamount to any threat to use violence or other forms of intimidation which may require resorting to Section 36 of the TRRC Act. It states:
“A person who –
(a) threatens or interferes with an informant or a witness; or
(b) willfully obstructs or interferes with work of the Commission in the discharge of its functions,
commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one million dalasis or to imprisonment not exceeding three years or both a fine and imprisonment.”
These laws are not designed to be punitive. They are designed to restrain people from interfering with due process. Gambian people must bear in mind that a commission of inquiry is not a special criminal court. Those who are confessing are not compelled to make confession. There is no forced confession in criminal law. Hence, confession before a commission of enquiry is also a voluntary process. People should not be frightened to the point of shying away from making voluntary confession by intolerant remarks or behaviour. People should bear in mind that the commission is required to make incontestable findings. Their findings and recommendations alone would not automatically stand as the incontestable facts.
Section 204 of the Constitution does indicate that:
“(1) Where a Commission of Inquiry makes an adverse finding against any person, it shall, at the time of submitting its report to the President, inform such persons of the finding and the reasons therefore.”
It does not stop there.
“(2) A person against whom any such adverse finding has been made may appeal against such finding to the Court of Appeal as of right as if the finding were a judgment of the High Court, and on the hearing of the appeal the report shall be treated as if it were such a judgment
(3) An appeal under this section shall be made within three months of the appellant being informed of the adverse finding as provided by Subsection (1) or such later time as the Court of Appeal may allow.”
Section 205 further adds,
“A witness before a Commission of Inquiry shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if he or she were witness in proceedings before the High Court.”
Hence those who wish to use the evidence taken before a commission of inquiry to commence cases should bear in mind that the evidence given before a Commission of Inquiry without any cross examination would go with cross examination in a court of law. How that would affect the status of the report of the Commission should be reviewed.
There is undue pressure on government officials to express opinion on the evidence being given. Justice requires fair hearing and must go hand in hand with due process, otherwise the quality of justice may not stand the scrutiny of the ECOWAS court.
We would like to remind Gambians that there are more skeletons in the cupboard and more people need to come out and speak the truth if they are not to be ostracized. Remember the interest is the beast that should be exorcised from each of our beings, otherwise we could plunge daggers in each other’s chest with smiling faces. Once one defines a person as an enemy one is capable of murdering the person without remorse.
How many people really feel the cold blooded shooting of Haruna Jatta? We do not want to scratch old wounds. Let us be stunned by the gruesome murders but let us also not become self–righteous. The traits of enmity which put daggers in chests are still with many of us, if not all of us. Let us together learn how to tame the monster in each of us then peaceful co–existence in liberty, prosperity and happiness shall be the price.
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