By Neneh Galleh Barry
General Alagie Martin has confirmed to beating Sanna Sabally, who serves as former Vice Chairman of the junta. He regretted for the role he played in the arrests and tortures supervised by him.
The GNA officer made this confession on the ongoing Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission last Thursday.
Martin, who refused to describe his actions as constituting torture, but confirmed that they beat Sanna mercilessly. “Sanna was reportedly to be tortured severely by a team led by him (General Martin) to extract confession from him. This he said was the standard procedure then and it routine in any investigation.”When you are arrested and you don’t talk you are beaten” he remarked.
He told Commissioners that also arrested with Sanna was Sadibu Hydara, Lt Colonel Babucarr Sanyang, among others.
However he claimed not been involved in Sadibu’s torture which he said was led by late Musa Jammeh but confirmed leading the team to Mile 2. He nevertheless admitted supervising the torture that eventually led to the death of Sadibu. “I do not think that beating led to his death,” argued Martin.
Martin’s confession fell far short in helping viewing understand the gruesome picture Sanna painted of his treatment in state custody. He denied using hammer and electricity on Sanna. “We were there with our guns. We used our AK47s, not hammer,” said Martin. But confirm to the used of plastic bags during torture.
He told the TRRC that Sana Sabally was beaten, but-stroked, slapped because he refused to talk. While Babucarr Sanyang and Sanna were able to withstand the torture Sadibu died as a result.
Martin explained how he and other soldiers arrested Sabally in January 1995. “We were given directive that he wanted to take over the country and so we should arrest him like the others. We arrested him. He resisted arrest and we had to beat him. We beat him,” he told the commission.
Martin also told the TRRC that on the night of Sabally’s detention at Mile 2, he led a team of security officers to the prison to interrogate him. Which include Manlafi Corr, Almamo Manneh and Omar Ndure
“It’s 100% wrong and I apologize for that. This was an instruction to interrogate Sana. At that time when we asked you and you refuse to talk, you must be beaten. That was how the situation was at that time, Counsel.”