By Yankuba Jallow
Kafu Bayo, the seventeenth prosecution witness (PW 17) in the ongoing criminal trial of nine former officials of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), said the paramilitary who came to arrest them during their demonstration at West Field, beat them and he was slapped in the process which led to his hearing impairment.
“I was slapped by the paramilitary officers until I thought the whole world was turned upside downside. I sustained injuries because up to now, the ear that is affected cannot hear,” Bayo said.
Kafu Bayo made these statements whilst giving evidence before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High Court on Monday, June 4th June 2018.
Bayo said he was beaten three times at the NIA headquarters until he became unconscious.
“After my first beating, I was conscious because my eyes were opened but when they relaxed and came back, they beat me until I became unconscious,” he stated.
He was shown a blue shirt and long blue jean trousers to identify before the Court. In his evidence, Bayo said the clothes were given to him by the ninth accused person Lamin Lang Sanyang, whom he referred to as the doctor. The shirt and the jean trousers were tendered, admitted and marked as Exhibit D. He was further shown another shirt and trousers to identify before the Court. In his testimony, the witness stated that they were given to him by the same doctor. Without any objection from the defence team, the clothes were tendered, admitted and marked as Exhibit E.
“At the time you were beaten until you lost one of your teeth at the NIA, did you hear anyone saying anything,” asked Lawyer Antouman AB Gaye, for the prosecution.
“When I was knocked, I heard someone saying: ‘Hey Tamba Masireh.’ To that person, he said, this man is already dead. Even if my tooth is broken, he will not know. I heard someone saying: ‘I will kill this person even if his tooth is broken. There is nothing. I don’t know who uttered those statements because I was blindfolded and I was only hearing,” Bayo responded.
Under cross-examination by Lawyer CE Mene for the first accused person, the witness said he was beaten at the NIA by unknown persons.
“I was beaten and left unconscious. When I regained my senses around the late hours of the night, I just saw myself in cell,” the witness said.
“Who told you that you were beaten three times when you have clearly told the Court that before they finished the second time, you weren’t conscious?” asked Lawyer Mene.
“I don’t know how the second beating ended,” Bayo stated.
“Did you remember making a witness statement at the police on the 1st day of March 2016, in connection to this case?” asked Mene.
“Yes I did, but I cannot remember the date. But on that day, the photos of our injuries were taken,” he said.
Without any objection to the admissibility of the statement, it was tendered, admitted and marked as Exhibit D for the defence.