By Yankuba Jallow
Superintendent Thomas RJ Gomez, the 25th prosecution witness in the ongoing criminal trial of former intelligence Chiefs, on Wednesday gave evidence on how the body of late Solo Sandeng was exhumed at the NIA Annex in Tanji.
The witness told the Court that he is a Masters’ degree holder in forensic archeology and crime scene investigation; that they were led by Sheikh Omar Jeng, the third accused person in this criminal suit, to the grave of late Solo Sandeng.
In his evidence in chief, the Police Officer said together with his team, they cleared the surface debris around the grave and set a date for the exhumation. He told the Court that there was evidence of visual changes on the ground level of the said grave. “There were cracks, depressions and soil disturbance on the grave,” he said; that they poured water on the grave to ensure that evidence sought to be recovered, is not damaged.
“At the time, we did not know the depth of the grave. So to avoid any per mortem (damage) on the evidence that we were about to recover, we poured water on the grave,” the witness said.
Superintendent Gomez maintained that watering the grave, made it easy to use archeological tools like hand trowel and spade, to do the exhumation; that that was the first experience for most of his teammates but for him, he has done series of such in the United Kingdom. Gomez stated that the grave was divided into two equal halves; that the first half was the turf which composes mainly of the top soil and the second half was the sub soil. Gomez said the grave was measured.
“The measurement of the grave has a depth of 60 cm, with a width of 85 cm and a length of 1.75 meters,” he said.
The matter was then adjourned to Tuesday November 27th at 1 pm, for continuation of hearing.