Sunday, October 17, 2021

Ex-police sergeant cross-examined in Koro Ceesay’s murder trial


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By Yankuba Jallow

Abdoulie Sisoho, the lawyer for Yankuba Touray has commenced cross-examining ex-police sergeant Pa Habibou Mbye in the case of former minister Yankuba Touray.

Koro Ceesay died in June 1995 while serving as Minister of Finance under the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council’s reign.

Yankuba Touray is standing trial for the alleged murder of Ceesay. Touray refused to take his plea before the court and invoked what he called his constitutional immunity.

Mbye began his testimony on Tuesday and continued with it on Wednesday. Appearing before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh on Wednesday, Mbye said he was dismissed from the Gambia Police Force shortly after the demise of Koro Ceesay in 1995. He added that he was reinstated in 1997 and dismissed again in 1999.

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“There were two officers who witnessed the post-mortem and our names were recorded on the report,” the witness said.

The copy of the post-mortem report on the remains of Koro Ceesay dated 25thJune 1995 was shown to the witness which he identified. The defence lawyer did not object to the admissibility of the document and it was marked as prosecution exhibit.

On cross-examination, Lawyer A. Sisoho asked the witness what he understands by the meaning of the word presumed, and in his response, the witness said it means something that you are not sure of.

“I am putting it to you that as per Exhibit P3 (Post-Mortem Report), the remains of that was examined, they were not sure it was the remains of Koro Ceesay,” Counsel Sisoho told the witness.

“There has not been any dispute that the body was recovered from the Minister’s (Koro Ceesay’s) car. The accused person (Yankuba Touray) left with the decease (Koro Ceesay) from the airport and the only logical deduction that may arise is that the body was that of Ceesay,” the witness retorted.

Lawyer Sisoho told the witness that in the report, the pathologist suggested that Koro Ceesay died from fire. At this point, Lawyer Sisoho told the witness that he has never stated anywhere in his statement at the police that he has met Yankuba Touray.
“That is true,” the witness said.

Lawyer Sisoho told him that he has not mention anywhere in his police statement that he has been to Yankuba Touray’s office and Touray sent him away.
“That is true,” he said.

The Lawyer said the witness has not stated in his police report that the then Inspector General of Police asked him to go to Yankuba Touray’s office.
“That is true,” the witness said.

The lawyer told the witness that he was not part of the police investigation team that investigated Koro Ceesay’s demise.

“I was doing the investigation on my own,” the witness said.

Lawyer Sisoho told him that the police investigation in the demise of Koro Ceesay was handled by the current chief of Kombo North, Momodou Bojang.

“Are you aware that Mr. Momodou Bojang, at the level of police, was responsible for the investigation of the death of Koro Ceesay?” asked Lawyer Sisoho.

“I am not aware because all investigation of atrocities committed should come from me to my juniors. Momodou Bojang was my junior,” the witness said.

“I am putting it to you that the IGP was the one who appointed Mr. Momodou Bojang to investigate the matter,” the Lawyer said.

“That could have happened after my dismissal. It did not happen when I was the Crime Management Coordinator (CMC),” the witness said.

The witness, in response to the Lawyer’s put that Mr. Bojang went to the accident scene upon the instruction of the IGP and said he was not aware of Bojang’s involvement in the case.

“Mr. Momodou Bojang said you have never been involved in the investigation of the matter,” the lawyer said.

“That is his view. I investigated the matter on my own,” the witness said.
“Were you part of the police investigation team into the demise of Koro Ceesay?” asked Sisoho.

The witness said he investigated the matter, but he was not in the police investigation team.

“When I was investigating the case, before completing it, I was dismissed,” the witness said.

The matter will continue today at 14:15 for the continuation of the cross-examination of the fifth prosecution witness.

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