Sub-Inspector Samba Bah, a police officer attached to the Police Intervention Unit (PIU), last Wednesday ended his testimony as second prosecution witness in the criminal trial involving 14 supporters of the United Democratic Party (UDP) before Justice O. Ottaba of the High Court in Banjul.
Bakary Jammeh, Kaddy Samateh, Lele Bojang, Alkali Sanneh, Yaya Fatty, Muhammed Singhateh, Kemo Touray, Bakary Marong, Buba Mass, Alagie Saidykhan, Tombong Njie, Modou Sarr, Sheriff Suno, and Lamin Dampha are charged with various offences ranging from conspiracy to commit felony, unlawful assembly, and riot, incitement of violence, interfering with vehicles, holding a procession without a permit and disobeying an order to disperse.
Continuing his testimony under cross-examination, the witness told the court that the PIU is always on alert not only during the time of the arrest of the accused persons. He added that he is not aware that some people were arrested along Kairaba Avenue.
According to the witness, he is also not aware of any arrest at Westfield and Cooperative Junction but said he is only aware of the arresting at the ICE Man junction. He said all the people they arrested were arrested at the ICE Man Junction. He maintained that he knew nothing about impounding of vehicles, saying they arrested only people.
When lawyer B S Touray told the witness that all the people they arrested were going about their normal businesses, the witness said, “No! They were blocking the highway, creating violence and insulting.”
“Is it correct that you personally did not quarrelled with anyone on the street?” Lawyer Touray questioned, “I didn’t,” the witness responded. The witness also informed the court that both him and Commander Saine did not have any personal problem with any member of the crowd before the day of the arrest.
When he was asked whether he saw his commander quarrelling with anybody in the crowd, the witness replied, “No! Officers don’t quarrel.”
“Have you ever encountered and had experience with someone abusing your parents whom you had problems with before this day?” Lawyer Touray questioned and the witness responded saying, “No.” He further asked, “Do you accept the fact that majority of the accused persons are older than you?” the witness said, “Yes.”
Lawyer Touray asked, “Have you ever encountered a scenario where an elderly member of the community will stand in public to cast insults?” “No! Never” the witness replied.
Hearing continues on 15 November 2016, at 4pm.
by Fatou Sowe