10 May 2018

Gambia: NIA Ceased to Have Detainees Since It Was Changed to SIS

Seedy Saidybah, the 14th prosecution witness in the ongoing criminal trial involving nine former officials of the defunct National Intelligence Agency now State intelligence Service yesterday told the court that in the past they used to have detainees but presently they don't have detainees.

Seedy Saidybah made this revelation before the High Court in Banjul presided over by Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara whilst testifying under re-examination by Prosecuting Counsel Rachel Y. Mendy in the ongoing trial involving the nine accused persons.

The witness testified that since he joined the security apparatus in 2008 and until 2017 when the new government took over, he used to check on detainees and run errands of buying food for the detainees.

Seedy Saidybah explained that the NIA now SIS ceases to have detainees noting that there are no detainees presently at the SIS (former NIA).

The witness's revelation came following the prosecution counsel, R.Y. Mendy's question that the witness stated under cross examination by defense Counsel Ibrahim Jallow for the 3rd accused, Sheikh Omar Jeng that his duties at the NIA includes checking on detainees and buying them food on previous days.

The witness was then asked by prosecution counsel, R. Y. Mendy to explain to the court what he meant by on previous days.

The witness explained that what he meant by previous days was when there were detainees at the NIA now SIS compared to date when there are no detainees at the said facility.

Meanwhile, the 14th prosecution witness whilst responding to questions posed to him by lawyer Saikou Fatty of the National Agency for Legal Aid, who represents the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th accused persons said he met Lamin Darboe in James Mendy's office when he took the keys to James Mendy and left for his office.

"I was sitting in my office when I saw Lamin Darboe going with Solo Sandeng," he stated.

The witness who described Lamin Darboe's office told the court that he saw Lamin Darboe and Solo Sandeng faces and their sides but cannot recollect the dresses they were wearing because it's a long time now.

He told the court that it was in the night but cannot say exactly the very time, noting that he was with Mbemba Camara at the time in their office.

The witness revealed that three of them were on duty on the 14th April, 2016, but could not remember the person he handed the security post to when he was leaving at dawn on the 15th of April, 2016.

The witness disclosed that his role during the detention of the detainees was to record the detainees' items.

Furthermore, in responding to questions posed to him by lawyer Dayo S. Dagoh the counsel for the ninth accused person, Lamin Lang Sanyang, the witness told the court that his relationship with the ninth accused person was a working relationship.

When asked if he knows in what capacity that Lamin Lang Sanyang works at the NIA, the witness told the court that he was their doctor.

Further asked if the ninth accused told him that he was a doctor, he replied that the ninth accused heads the clinic at the NIA but he didn't tell him.

The witness explained that when they have sick detainees, it is the 9th accused that conduct check and prescribe medication for them.

The witness told the court that he saw the 9th accused carrying stethoscope and a bag around 4:00 a.m. on the 15th of April, 2016.

Seedy Saidybah concluded in his evidence under cross examination that he also saw Lamin Lang Sanyang and the three female detainees (Noghoi Njie, Fatoumatta Camara and Fatoumatta Jawara) at the clinic when he resumed on the 17th of April, 2016.

Hearing continues on the 14th May, 2018 for the prosecution to call the 15th witness.

It could be recalled that the nine accused persons: Yankuba Badjie, Louie Richard Leese Gomez, Sheikh Omar Jeng, Babucarr Sallah, Yusupha Jammeh, Haruna Susso, Tamba Mansaray, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang are indicted with 26 counts including conspiracy yo murder, murder, assault causing grievous bodily harm, making false document without proper authority, abduction amongst others.


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