By Yankuba Jallow
State Counsel Abdul Maita Yusuf has on Tuesday, 23rd June began his cross-examination of Yankuba Touray’s sister-in-law, Awa Minteh.
Minteh is the first defence witness in this case and she is a younger sister to Touray’s wife Mamie Minteh.
Touray, now 53 was a long-serving Minister of Local Government and Lands in both the AFPRC and APRC regimes. He was also a member of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) after toppling the PPP 30-year regime.
Retired Captain Touray is accused of the murder of former Minister of Finance, Ousman Koro Ceesay under the AFPRC reign. The prosecution alleged that the former military officer turned politician used a pestle-like weapon to murdering Ceesay in June 1995 at his (Touray’s) residence. Touray denied any wrongdoing as he pleaded his constitutional immunity but the court entered a plea of not-guilty for him. Touray, until at the time of his arrest was doing business.
The 35-year-old witness during cross-examination said the children of Mr Touray were Fatoumata, Edward, Muhammed, Nato, Mafuji and Modou Touray. The resident of Pirang said in 1995, she was in grade 5 adding she completed her education in year 2004. She added that she lived in the United Kingdom from 2004 to 2006; in December 2006 she returned to the Gambia and was living with Touray and the family in Kerr Serign.
“Do you know Edward Singhatey?” Asked Counsel Yusuf.
“Yes, I do,” the witness said, adding “He was working in the Government as a Minister of Defence.”
“What is the relationship between the accused person and his guards, family and neighbours?” prosecutor Yusuf asked.
“It was very cordial,” the witness retorted.
All other questions by the prosecution counsel were directed about Touray and his family.
The matter was adjourned to Wednesday, 24th June at 1 pm for the continuation of cross-examination.