Witness Doesn’t know what Led to Solo Sandeng’s Death

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By Alpha Jallow and Muhammed Habib

Mr. Assan Badjie, the eight prosecution witness (PW8) in the ongoing trial of former intelligence officers says he knows nothing that led to Solo Sandeng’s demise.

He was speaking recently before the High Court in Banjul presided over by Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara.

The accused persons are: Yankuba Badjie, the former Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, Saikou Omar Jeng (alias Sir Jeng), the former director of Operations, Haruna Susso, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe, Baboucarr  Sallah, and Lamin Lang Sanyang.

They are jointly charged with twenty-five (25) counts ranging from multiple counts of murder, causing grievous harm, conspiracy to commit felony, accessory, forgery, making a document without authority, disobedience to statutory duty. They denied all the charges levelled against them.

In cross-examining PW8, Lawyer Jallow asked the witness whether he (the witness) told the court that he didn’t see any of the accused persons featured in the video. The witness responded in the positive.

“Is it also correct that you have not seen any of the accused persons doing anything to anybody?”  “No, Sir I have not seen anybody” responded the witness.

Responding to questions from Lawyer Fatty, the defence counsel for the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th accused persons during cross-examination, the witness told the court that he conducted only one interview and that he was present throughout the interview. He further told the court that the interview started around 8pm. When asked by Barrister Fatty to tell the court the names of those posing questions to the UDP demonstrators in the video, the witness responded that those posing questions to them were Lamin Ceesay and Kebba Secka.

When asked whether he saw any of the accused persons where the interview was held, the witness responded in the negative.

“Mr. Badjie do you know anything about the demise of Solo Sandeng?” asked Lawyer Fatty. “No, Sir”, replied PW8.

“Did you see any of the accused persons flogging or beating any of those people?” asked Lawyer Fatty, “No, sir I have not seen any of them.” responded the witness.

“Mr Badjie after making the video who did you hand it over to?”  “My officer commanding, Baboucarr Njie”, replied the witness.

“Is it correct that it has not been under your custody since the time you handed it over to your boss?” asked Lawyer Fatty. “No, sir”, answered the witness.

Then Lawyer Gaye told the court that they had another witness called Kebba Secka.

The said witness then entered the dock but Lawyer Mene applied for a short adjournment  on the premise that he was served with an additional witness statement in court and that he needed time to read it and prepare for the witness. There was no objection from the prosecution team.

Consequently, the trial judge adjourned the case.

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