Gambia: COURT MARTIAL: “Second Accused Person Was Tortured” – Lawyer Jobe

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COURT MARTIAL: “Second Accused Person Was Tortured” – Lawyer Jobe

By Yankuba Jallow and Kebba Secka

Sherrif Kumba Jobe, the lawyer for 12 soldiers facing trial on nine counts involving treason, yesterday told the Court-Martial that the second accused person, Lieutenant Abdoulie Jarju was tortured in the cause of obtaining cautionary statements from him.

Lawyer Jobe said the second accused person was compelled and threatened before his cautionary statements were obtained from him. Lawyer Jobe told him that the second accused person’s face was covered and he was taken into a room where he was seriously tortured.

Lawyer Sheriff K. Jobe made this statement when cross examining the fourth prosecution witness (PW4), Alhajie Camara who told the Court-Martial on Monday that he was assigned by his authorities to join the team of investigators at the NIA headquarters, Banjul.

Under cross-examination, Lawyer Jobe asked PW4 when the cautionary statement of the second accused person was recorded. The witness told the Court-Martial that it was done in a period of one month. Lawyer Jobe disagreed with the witness’ statement that the cautionary statements of second and third accused persons were taken in a period of one month. Lawyer Jobe added that the cautionary statements of the second and third accused persons were taken on the same day. In his reply, the witness told the Court “I can’t remember”.

At this juncture, Lawyer Jobe applied to the Court-Martial for the documents (cautionary statements) to be shown to the witness to identify them. The witness told the panel that the documents were his (witness’) own handwriting, adding that he recorded the cautionary statements and used the same date, 21st July 2017.

Further cross examining the witness, Jobe asked him whether there was any independent witness when he was taking the cautionary statements. The witness responded that by the time he was recording the cautionary statement, there was no independent witness but the independent witness came later, adding that he could not remember when he had an independent witness for the statements obtained from the second and third accused persons.

The witness also told the Court-Martial that he does not think he can produce the original of the cautionary statements of the second and third accused persons. The defence lawyer applied for the documents to be tendered in Court and marked as exhibits DVD2 for the second accused person. Since there was no objection from the prosecution, the documents were marked as exhibits by the Court-Martial.

Source: Foroyaa Newspaper Banjul

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