27 December 2012

Gambia: Inmate Testifies in Prison Break Trial

One Lamin Sanneh, an inmate at the Mile II state central prison, on Monday testified as the forth prosecution witness (PW4) in the criminal trial involving the state against Sulayman Jammeh, alias Daddy Boston, and 18 others, at the Banjul Magistrates' Court, presided over by Magistrate Momodou M.S. Jallow.

Giving his evidence under evidence-in-chief, Sanneh told the court that on the 27th October 2012, they (the inmates) were all taken out of cell but one ASP Musa Badjie later came and asked them to go back to the cell and they were there until around 4 to 5pm.

According to him, the 1st accused (Daddy Boston) told the officer on duty that he wanted to go to the toilet and one corporal Tamba came and opened the cell. Few minutes later, the witness said he heard the 1st accused saying 'do you want to kill me' and they (inmates) all rushed out to find out what was happening. He said on seeing the 1st accused lying on the ground unconscious, they went to the office to inform the other officers, as the officers at the scene ran away. He added that the time this happened only cell number II was open.

During cross-examination of PW4 by the defence counsel for the 1st and 5th accused persons, Lawyer E-Jah, the witness told the court that nothing happened before the incident. PW4 stated that the inmates insisted that the prison guards come back and attend to him and as an inmate he expected that it is the duty of the officers to look after the wellbeing of the inmates. He said after the incident they were taken to conferment where he spent 24 days and their statements were recorded but the other inmates spent longer time there.

At that juncture, the case was adjourned to 3rd January 2013 for continuation of cross-examination.

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