13 June 2018

Gambia: At the Court-Martial - Lt. Abdoulie Jarjue Gives Testimony

Lt. Abdoulie Jarjue, the second accused person in the trial involving some members of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) accused of belonging to the 'WhatsApp' group, Tuesday June 12th told the General Court-Martial that the president of the panel, was one time accused and implicated, while on international duty in Darfur, in Sudan. When the case was called, AN Yusuf announced his appearance for the State while SK Jobe together with Suwaibou Jammeh, appeared for the accused persons.

Lt. Jarjue made these and other revelations during cross examination by the State prosecutor, AN Yusuf. Counsel Yusuf asked the witness to tell the Court whether officials of the GAF are fond of accusing and implicating soldiers, and the witness answered in the affirmative citing example from the president of the panel of the General Court Martial, who is trying them.

"Do you know anybody accused and implicated by officials of GAF?" asked Yusuf. "Within our midst here, the president of the panel was once accused and implicated, while he was in Darfur, in Sudan," said the witness.

During cross-examination, Yusuf reminded the accused person that in his evidence in chief, he alleged that he was tortured; that his face was covered. Asked whether he could tell the Court-Martial those who tortured him and he responded that he cannot but is able to remember those who surrounded him before his face was covered; that Capt. Alhagie Camara, Abdoulie Sowe and Lt. Yusupha Jallow, were among the soldiers who surrounded him before his eyes were covered but could not ascertain who actual tortured him; that all the torturing occurred at the NIA when he was brought before a Board of Inquiry (BOI).

Furthermore, Lt. Jarjue said only two members of GAF were known to him as soldiers but he did not know the rest; that he cannot tell whether they were civilians or not and what their occupations were. Lt. Jarjue said he has never served as an investigator; that he did not know whether it is a habit for officials of GAF to lie and implicate someone if they have issues with somebody. He acknowledged working with some members of the BOI and stated that he had never had an issue.

Counsel Yusuf told the accused person that he decided to meet Tamba and apologized to him for his actions because he was threatened with investigations into the matter and he responded that he met Tamba who accepted his apology but did not do it because he was threatened. The case was adjourned to Monday, June 18th.

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