By Yankuba Jallow
Ex-Minister of Tourism, Yankuba Touray has filed an appeal before the Supreme Court of The Gambia asking the apex court to overturn his conviction and sentencing by the high court.
The former army captain was convicted of murder by the Banjul high court and was sentenced to death by hanging. The convict was found guilty for the murder of his late colleague minister Ousman Koro Ceesay sometime in June 1995 at his (Yankuba’s) residence.
He appealed before the Gambia Court of Appeal seeking to have his conviction and sentence overturned, but he failed. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the high court and dismissed his appeal as one that lacked merit.
The former cabinet minister now wants the Supreme Court to overturn the decisions of the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
In proving their case at the high court, the State called nine (9) witnesses and tendered some documents. Yankuba Touray called three witnesses including himself in his defence. At the close of the case, the court convicted him of the crime (murder) and sentenced him to death by hanging.
His appeal is based on several issues. Principally, he is dissatisfied with the courts heavy reliance on Alagie Kanyi, the star witness for the prosecution. Kanyi testified that he participated in the murder of Ousman Koro Ceesay together with Yankuba Touray, Edward Singhatey, Peter Singhatey, Tumbul Tamba, BK Jatta and Pa Alieu Gomez. The self-confessed murderer said the incident happened at Yankuba Touray’s residence in Kololi. He gave a detailed testimony on the manner in which the murder was done and how the culprits disposed off the body of the deceased. Different prosecution witnesses said Touray asked his guards and orderlies to go for a patrol along the sea. Also, some of the prosecutions testified that Touray evacuated his family to the residence of Edward Singhatey for a party.
Yankuba also faulted the high court and the court of appeal for not relying on his testimony and that of his witnesses. Yankuba’s witnesses were his wife and her sister (sister in-law). The wife and sister denied ever going to Edward Singhatey’s house for a party. The wife testified that she was on a bed rest based on doctor’s advice. Yankuba Touray said he was with former President Yahya Jammeh at the State House and he accompanied the former head state to the airport at the airport when he was going for a summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He denied ever sending his guards and orderlies on a patrol mission on the night of the murder.
Foroyaa will provide you the grounds of appeal before the Supreme Court on our next publication.