By Rohey Jadama and Zainab Jobarteh
Yankuba Touray has denied that he saw a prosecution witness on the day he was alleged to have participated in the murder of a former Cabinet colleague.
Touray, a former minister for Local Government and Lands and one-time member of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC), told the High Court in Banjul that he did not see Alagie Kanyi on the day the former army corporal claimed he (Touray) aided in the fatal attack on Ousman Koro Ceesay, a former Finance minister.
Kanyi had testified that Ceesay was killed in Yankuba Touray’s house in June 1995. He claimed that he, Touray, AFPRC vice-president Edward Singhatey, his brother Peter Singhatey, as well as Tumbul Tamba, and two other people ganged up to kill Ceesay.
Touray was led in his evidence by his lawyer, Senior Counsel Abdoulie Sissoho, before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh.
Sissoho: After the chairman (Yahya Jammeh) told you that you should wait and join him at the airport, what did you do?
Touray: I was there and the chairman went in and dressed up in his camouflage uniform – the same camouflage I wore on that day. We were joined by the ADC (aide-de-camp), Lieutenant Bajinka, and the driver, Pa Malang. We joined the convoy and left for the airport – this was between 10pm and 11pm.
Sissoho: The day Yahya Jammeh was leaving for Ethiopia, Mr Alagie Kanyi, who is Prosecution Witness 6 in this case, while under oath before this court, said you received the vice-chairman, Edward Singhatey, Peter Singhatey, Tumbul Tamba, and D.K. Jatta in your house at Kerr Serign. Is that true, sir?
Sissoho: The day Yahya Jammeh was leaving the country, did you receive any of the above-mentioned persons anywhere?
Sissoho: Did you see or meet Alagie Kanyi, Peter Singhatey, Edward Singhatey, Tumbul Tamba, and D.K. Jatta?
Sissoho: What happened from the State House to the airport?
Touray: The convoy drove by the Serrekunda highway and straight to the airport. We went straight to the airport. After the departure ceremony and protocols, the chairman boarded the aeroplane and he was officially seen off by the vice-chairman, Second Lieutenant Edward Singhatey, the Army Commander, Colonel Baboucar Jatta, the Director General of the National Security Services (now National Intelligence Agency), and the Inspector General of Police.
Sissoho: Let’s move back to the State House. Apart from yourself and Yahya Jammeh as members of the AFPRC, was any member of the council part of the convoy that drove from State House to the airport?
Sissoho: Can you tell the court who received the president at the airport on the night he was leaving?
Touray: The vice-chairman of the AFPRC.
Sissoho: Name, please.
Touray: Lieutenant Edward [Singhatey].
Sissoho: Pa Habib Mbye, Prosecution Witness Five, told this court that Edward Singhatey and you drove intentionally and blocked the car of Ousman Koro Ceesay, the former minister of Finance. Is that true?
Sissoho: Was Edward Singhatey part of your convoy?
Sissoho: Did you go there together?
Sissoho: Did you go to the car park on that night?
Sissoho: Did you see Mr Ousman Koro Ceesay at the airport?
Sissoho: Did you go with Mr Ousman Koro Ceesay together to the airport?
Sissoho: Do you know how Mr Ousman Koro Ceesay went to the airport?
Sissoho: Do you know at the material time what sort of car he (Koro Ceesay) was driving?
Sissoho: Did you have a personal relationship with him?
Sissoho: Do you have access to his personal security arrangements?
Sissoho: After the snacks with Yahya Jammeh did you contact your wife that night?
Sissoho: Did you contact your orderly, Ensa Mendy, from the State House?
Sissoho: At the time did you have a personal telephone (mobile phone) in 1995?
Sissoho: Did your orderly, Jali Musa Sowe, have a personal mobile phone at the time in 1995?
Sissoho: Did your personal orderly, Ensa Mendy, have a mobile phone on the night Yahya Jammeh was leaving?”
Sissoho: Can you tell this honourable court what was the arrangement of departure after the president (chairman) left?
Touray: The president’s convoy left first and I was driven by Pa Malang, who was the president’s official driver, with the presidential convoy.
Sissoho: How many of you were in the car?
Touray: Pa Malang and I.
Sissoho: After the convoy left the airport what happened?
Touray: I arrived at the State House between 11 pm and midnight.
Sissoho: Upon arrival at State House what happened?
Touray: I alighted from the president’s car and after a while I had a little chat with the State Guard Commander, Captain Lang Tombong Tamba.
Sissoho: After that what happened, sir?
Touray: I drove my car straight to Kerr Serign and arrived between midnight and 1 am. The sentry opened the gate and I got into the house. I found my wife watching TV with other people in the living room. I went into my room and reprimanded Jali Musa Sowe for coming late and he told me that he had arrived just minutes after I left. I had to give him some psychological punishment by telling him to write and explain why [stern] action should not be taken against him for reporting to work late.
The hearing was adjourned to Monday August 31, 2020 at 2 pm, when Touray will continue with his testimony.