(JollofNews) – The fourth prosecution witness Saidou Jallow in the ongoing NIA 9 case has stood his ground amid attempt made by the defense to challenge his evidence in chief, suggesting that he got
“schooled” to come to testify in court.
Gambia’s ex-spy chief Yankuba Badjie and his eight accused persons are standing trial in connection to the murder of opposition activist Ebrima Solo Sandeng.
“I am an independent witness,” PIU officer Saidou Jallow told the court as he was subjected to a very hard cross examination by defense counsel Emmanuel Chime during Tuesday’s hearing at Banjul High Court.
The trial of former NIA top brass continues to generate headline as government is confronted with a rising demand for justice. The accused persons are charged with multiple offences including conspiracy to
commit murder, assault causing grievous bodily harm, murder, abduction. They pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against them.
For nearly one and a half hours the legal team mounted a defense geared towards exposing the fact that the fourth witness Saidou Jallow has not voluntarily given his statement, casting doubt on his testimony.
“It is a voluntary statement because I knew something about the case,” Jallow firmly objected.
Pursuing in his line of questioning, lawyer Chime went on to tell Saidou Jallow if he were an important witness, he would have been called by the police to come and testify.
“I cannot give my evidence if I am not asked to do so. Security is about command and control,” Saidou Jallow indicated, prompting the defense counsel to strike back: “You were commanded and controled by the police to come and give evidence?”
“Not necessarily. The statement is voluntarily, it is written by myself,” Jallow responded.
Saidou Jallow later left the witness stand as the fifth prosecution SIS officer Buba Danso made his appearance in court.
In his testimony, Danso identified former NIA Opérations Director Sheikh Omar Jeng as the one who asked to “escort Solo Sandeng and four other arrestees to NIA headquarter in Banjul, following their arrest
for spearheading the April 14, 2016, protest march, which was met with a full-scale police crackdown.
Justice Kumba Sillah Kamara adjourned the case. Hearing will resume on Wednesday 13 december for continuation.