On November 11th, 2019, the High Court in Banjul is going to issue a ruling as to whether the Executive Secretary for Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) Baba Galleh Jallow should be arrested or not for allegedly failing to appear in court in the ongoing murder charges against the erstwhile Junta Local government Minister Yankuba Touray, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. This followed an application made by Touray’s Defense Counsel Abdoulie Sissoho, who asked the court to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of Baba Galleh Jallow. Lawyer Sissoho, in support of his application, had claimed that Jallow was subpoenaed to appear in court, but he allegedly failed to honor the subpoena. He further contends that the subpoena was issued pursuant to Section 221 of the Evidence Act.
Yankuba Touray has been charged for the murder of Ousman Koro Ceesay, the former Finance Minister. He has also been accused of taking part of the mass execution of about dozen soldiers and army officers back in November of 1994. The officers were accused of coup plot by the former military junta.
Touray has denied the charges. His legal debacle with the state started when he refused to testify before the TRRC. He had invoked constitutional provisions, which he says had indemnified him from facing any Commission or court of law on alleged offences that occurred during the era of the military rule.
According to Lawyer Sissoho, an affidavit of service was served on Baba Galleh Jallow. Jallow, he went on, has not appeared in court; he also did not explain why he never showed up. He added that Jallow should be compelled to appear in court. He also said Jallow’s conduct was a contempt to the court.
In response, State Prosecutor A. M Yusuf rejected Lawyer Sissoho’s claims that Baba Galleh Jallow had refused to show up in court. Yusuf contends that there is an existing witness, who was yet to be cross examined by the Defense. He added legal procedures dictates that before the appearance of Mr. Jallow, the said witness should be cross-examined by the Defense.
“Taking the provision into consideration, we have led the witness to testify. Now it is for the defense to cross-examine him. Before any witness is called, the prosecution witness must be dispensed with,” he argued.
Prosecutor Yusuf further contends that he is convinced that Baba Galleh Jallow is going to appear in court. He urges the court to dismiss Sissoho’s request for bench warrant against Jallow. He also wants the court to impose a court cost against the Defense.
“The Defense counsel assumes that the summons is in pursuant to Section 221 of the Criminal Procedure Code. If the witness Baba Galleh Jallow is to come and tender the statement of the witness, the summons cannot stand,” he posited.
State prosecution witness Ensa Mendy testified on Monday in the ongoing Yankuba Touray murder case.