Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Tamba Masireh Denies Torturing April 14 UDP Demonstrators

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By Yankuba Jallow

Tamba Masireh, the 5th accused person in the ongoing criminal trial of former officials of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on Tuesday said he never participated in the torture of any of the 14th April 2016 UDP demonstrators.

He said he came to see and know the UDP protesters only in Banjul High Court during the course of this trial.

Masireh is charged, together with former NIA director general Yankuba Badjie and five others, on 25 criminal counts including murder and torture.

Masireh said he was at his duty post at the Atlantic Hotel the whole day and night of 14th April 2016. He said he only left his duty post in the early hours of 15th April when he was instructed to go to the headquarters by his officer Commanding (OC) Haruna Suso.

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He said on this particular day, he was in pain since his leg was injured. He testified that he was part of the escort team to the NIA Complex (training school) in Tanji under the instruction of OC Suso.

Masireh said on their way to Tanji, Baboucar Sallah, he was dropped at a particular junction while the lineup vehicles proceeded to the complex. He said he was left in the vehicle since his leg was disturbing him, adding he was intoxicated.

He adduced that the vehicles came out of the complex, his boss Suso came in and they left for the headquarters. He said Baboucar Sallah was picked on the way at the place where he was left. He said when they arrived at the headquarters; he picked his motorbike and went back to his duty post together with Sallah.

Masireh refuted the allegations putting him at the centre of torture by some of the prosecution witnesses.

“This time did not found me at the headquarters.  I was at the Atlantic Hotel throughout the day,” he said.

Masireh said prosecution witness Malang Sonko was wrong when he testified that he saw him with a black rubber which he used to beat a woman on the 14th April 2016 at around 11pm. He informed the Court that he previously had a problem with Sonko. He said he did not kick Nogoi Njie because he was not at the headquarters on that particular day.

He said prosecution witness Pa Sering Mboob was not truthful when he testified that he saw Lamin Darboe, Baboucar Sallah and himself (Tamba Masireh) with Solo Sandeng with a rope on his neck.

“We don’t work with Lamin Darboe. Lamin Darboe is a technical staff,” Masireh said.

The case was adjourned to Wednesday, 10th March 2021, at 1pm for the continuation of hearing. 

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