Friday, August 7, 2020

Police Exclude Journalists From Yankuba Touray’s Arraignment

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By Nelson Manneh

Personnel of the Gambia Police Intervention Unit have denied the media access to cover the arraignment of Yankuba Touray, an ex-member of the defunct AFPRC government before the high court.

Touray appeared on Monday, 1st July 2019 before the High Court, but the media was denied access to cover the sittings.

The only media house granted the chance to cover the sittings was the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) while dozens of other journalists including this Foroyaa reporter were left outside.

There was a large crowd outside who were having placards indicating that Mr. Touray should be released and that the State should respect the Constitution.

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The slogans included: “Yankuba Touray should be freed” and “respect the constitution”.

After some time, Mr. Touray was brought out of the court and taken away by members of the Gambia Police Force and put in a vehicle as they took him away.

According to information gathered by this paper, Mr. Touray will take his plea on 8th July 2019 at 10 am.

Touray’s arrest and prosecution came after he refused to answer questions put to him by the TRRC’s Lead Counsel, Essa M. Faal on Wednesday, 26th June 2019 before the TRRC. After his refusal, the TRRC’s Chairperson, Dr. Lamin Sise instructed for his arrest and prosecution under section 15 of the TRRC Act.

He was a former member of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) that unseated the long regime of Sir. Dawda K. Jawara, the President of the First Republic of The Gambia. Touray along with four others including ex-President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh overthrew the PPP government and established their own Government with the name AFPRC from 1994 to 1996. He held the portfolio of Secretary of States for Local Government and Lands.

His appearance yesterday came after his recent discharge by the High Court on the criminal counts, he faced. He was charged together with an ex-Speaker of the National Assembly, Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay (FJC). The two were charged with conspiracy to commit felony and interference with a TRRC informant (witness). They denied culpability and the charges were dropped by the State in which both of them were discharged.

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