Friday, July 19, 2019

‘I Didn’t Report My Pain Because I Was Isolated” Lt. Yaya Jammeh


By Kebba Secka / Yankuba Jallow

Lieutenant Yaya Jammeh, the 3rd accused person in the ongoing Court Martial has told the Court-Martial at Yundum barracks, that he could not report his alleged torture to the authorities because he was left in isolation afterwards; that Captain Alagie Camara, the 4thprosecution witness and Lieutenant Yusupha Jallow, an investigator and prosecutor in the trial, tortured him.

He made the statements while continuing his evidence in chief on Friday 13th January 2018, before the panelist of the Court-Martial at the Yundum Military Camp. “I did not report my pain to any officer because none of the officers wanted to come close to me” he said.

In his response to State Counsel MB Abubakar’s question of whether he sustained injury during the course of torture, Lt. Jammeh said even though he did not sustain injuries, he was in deep pain as his private parts were tied.

In explaining how this was done, Lt. Jammeh said they were tied with a rope; that on the 22nd day of July, 2017, he was escorted to the NIA headquarters by Captain Suwaibou Camara and Captain Baboucar Ngom; that Captains Suwaibou Camara and Baboucar Ngom never mentioned to him the reason for his arrest, at the time they were escorting him to the NIA Headquarters in Banjul.

“The horrific allegation that you said before the Court on Tuesday that your head was forced into a pan that was full of water could lead to damage of the lungs, mental impairment and other forms of abnormalities”, Counsel MB Abubakar told the witness.

“I cannot tell because I am not a scientist and I was not taken to any health facility” Lt. Jammeh said. “What did you do when your private parts were tied?” Lawyer Abubakar asked. “When one’s private parts are held, one is left with nothing but to subdue oneself” Lt. Jammeh said.

He further told the Court-Martial that after his maltreatment in the course of obtaining his voluntary statement, he was taken to the 1st Infantry Battallion at the Officers’ Mess. “Whilst I was at the Officers Mess, I was made to lie down on the floor” he said. He told the panellists that during his brief stay at the Officers Mess, he used to wash his clothes and dry them up before the following morning. “I wouldn’t want my colleagues to come the following morning and find me with dirty clothes because I am a senior officer” Lieutenant Jammeh said.

The Court-Martial ordered the Prosecution to file brief of argument on Monday, the 15th day of January 2018 and the Defence to reply on Wednesday, the 17th day of January 2018 (two days later). The case was subsequently adjourned to January 19th 2018 at 9am for the ruling on the voluntary manner of obtaining the cautionary statements of Lt. Abdoulie Jarju , the second (2nd) accused person and Lt. Yaya Jammeh , the third (3rd) accused person.

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