By Rohey Jadama
Barrister Borry S. Touray defence Attorney for 14 United Democratic Party (UDP) supporters yesterday 9 November, 2016 continued the cross-examination of Sub Inspector Samba Bah of the Police Intervention Unit before of the Special Criminal Division of the Banjul High Court.
When the case was called Lawyers Hawa Sisay-Sabally, Borry S. Touray, Combeh Gaye and Anna Njie announced their representation for the accused persons, while State Counsels B. Jaiteh and B. Sanneh appeared for the state.
The accused persons are Bakary Jammeh, Kaddy Samateh, a mother of a five months old baby, Lele Bojang, Alkali Sanneh, Yaya Fatty, Solo Kurumah (Deceased), Muhammed Singhateh, Kemo Touray, Bakary Marong, Buba Mass, Alagie Saidykhan, Tombong Njie, Modou Sarr, Sheriff Suma and Lamin Dampha.
They are being tried on seven counts of ‘Conspiracy to commit Felony’, ‘Unlawful Assembly’,’ Riot’, ‘Incitement of Violence’, ‘interfering with vehicle’, ‘Holding a possession without a permit’ and ‘Disobeying order to disperse’, to which they all pleaded not guilty.
Counsel Touray remarked, “Mr. Bah you will agree with me that during this period there was a high state of alert at PIU?” Witness replied, “Not only that time, we are always alert”.
Counsel posited, “Are you aware that some people were arrested along Kairaba Avenue?” Witness responded, “No I’m not aware.
Counsel noted, “Are you aware that arrest was effected at Westfield and Cooperative Junctions?” Witness answered, “I’m not aware of Westfield and Cooperative junctions. I’m only aware of Iceman junction”.
Counsel Touray said, “I’m putting it to you that in fact people were arrested at Kairaba Avenue?” Witness answered, “I’m only aware”.
Counsel Touray remarked, “I’m putting it to you that some people who were going out and about their normal business and were in their private vehicle were arrested?” Witness answered, “All the people were arrested at Iceman junction”.
Counsel noted, “I’m putting it to you that you never told the court in your evidence in chief that you impounded vehicles at Iceman junction?” Witness answered, “I don’t know any thing about impounded vehicles, we only arrested people at Iceman junction”.
Counsel said, “I’m putting it to you that the people that you arrested are all going on their normal businesses?” Witness answered, “No because they were blocking the highway and they were creating violence by insulting and they can disturb the environment”.
Touray said, “But is it correct that you personally did not quarrel with anyone?” Witness answered, “No”. Touray noted, “Is it true that you didn’t have any personal problem with any member of the crowd before this day?” He answered, “No I didn’t have any problem with any one”.
Touray noted, “Is it also correct that Commander Saine didn’t have any problem with anyone?” Witness answered, “I don’t know”. Touray asked, “Did you see your commander quarrelling with anybody?” Witness answered, “No, officers don’t quarrel”.
Touray remarked, “Before this day have you ever encountered problem with someone you have no problem with abusing your parents?” He answered, “Never”. Touray said, “Look at the accused persons you, will agree with me that majority of them are older than you by age?” Witness answered, “Yes”.
Touray asked, “Have you ever encounter a scenario where an elderly member of the community will stand up in public to cast insult?” He answered, “No never”.
At this juncture, lawyer Touray informed the court that is all for the witness.
Under re-examination state counsel B. Jaiteh asked the witness whether he has ever had people affiliated to political parties making insult in public. However, Lawyer Touray objected to this question arguing that the question is not a proper question.
He further added that it didn’t arise from cross-examination and that there is no ambiguity with the answers given by the witness while under cross-examination.
“The question my learned friend is asking is eliciting fresh evidence. We therefore urge the court to disallow the question”, submitted Barrister Touray.
Justice Otaba in his ruling held that the questions and answers raised during cross-examination were clear and therefore overruled and disallowed the question of the prosecution.
The case was subsequently adjourned to 15 and 17 November, 2016 at 4-5pm respectively for continuation of hearing.