Gambia: State's Counsel Urges Court to Convict Yanks

Abdul Maita Yusuf, the state's principal counsel has asked the High Court presided over by Justice Ebrima Jaiteh to convict Yankuba Touray and sentence.

Yankuba, who is fondly called Yanks is accused of causing the death of former Minister of Finance, Ousman Koro Ceesay in the AFPRC government which according to the indictment happened at Touray's residence in Kololi.

Touray is said to have used a pestle-like object as he allegedly killed Mr. Ceesay, the former minister, but he has since denied any wrongdoing.

Yanks, if convicted could serve life imprisonment.

State Counsel Yusuf relied on his brief of argument dated 4 June 2021.

"We urge the honourable court to convict the accused person as charged and sentence him accordingly," Yusuf said.

Yusuf in his argument in brief, said Alagie Kanyi, who was the sixth prosecution witness in the case was an accomplice to the crime which Yankuba is charged with.

"He (Kanyi) gave extensive evidence on how they (himself, Edward Singhateh, Peter Singhateh, BK Jatta, Tumbul Tamba, Pa Louis Gomez and Yankuba Touray) beat the Deceased (Koro Ceesay) with a pestle and other objects in the house of the accused person (Yankuba Touray) until the Deceased died," Yusuf told the court.

He maintained that Kanyi also gave evidence that he took part in putting the body of the deceased in the official vehicle of the deceased on the instruction of Edward Singhateh. He submitted that Alagie Kanyi though, was an accomplice, he was equally a competent witness, pointing out the principle of law in this jurisdiction is that an accomplice is a competent witness against an accused person as he relied on section 181 of the Evidence Act and a Supreme Court decision in the case of Colonel Lamin B.O. Badjie and 6 others versus the State.

Yusuf argued that the evidence of Alagie Kanyi was relevant and reliable for the purpose of proving the murder charge against Yankuba Touray. He further submitted that the evidence of Kanyi has been corroborated by other prosecution witnesses.

He told the court that Kanyi gave evidence that when they arrived at the residence of Yankuba Touray, the place was empty, meaning the guards on duty were not there as well as the family. He added that the testimonies of Ensa Mendy, Captain Amat Jangum and Lamin Ndure that the family of Yankuba Touray were taken to Edward Singhateh's residence for a party.

He submitted that both direct and circumstantial evidences have linked Yankuba Touray to the murder of Koro Ceesay.

"The evidence led by the prosecution proves that the accused person (Yankuba Touray) of the deceased (Koro Ceesay)."

He added that the evidence of Alagie Kanyi shows a grant scheme of conspiracy by Edward Singhateh, Peter Singhateh and Yankuba Touray to kill Ousman Koro Ceesay. He maintained that Yankuba Touray was a primary participant in the murder of Ousman Koro Ceesay.

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