Thursday, August 22, 2019

In The NIA 9 Trial: Defence Continues Cross Examination of SIS Technician


By Rohey Jadama

Lawyer Christopher Mene, defence Attorney for Mr. Yankuba Badjie, the erstwhile Director General of the defunct NIA, yesterday continued with the cross-examination of Mr. Malang Sonko, a technician working at the State Intelligence Services (SIS).

The accused persons in the trial are Yankuba Badjie, Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, Saikou Omar Jeng, former director of Operations, Haruna Susso, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Baboucarr Sallah, and Lamin Lang Sanyang. They are being tried before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High court.

“Mr. Malang Sonko you told this court at the last adjourned date that you do not go home before your Director?’’, asked Lawyer Mene. “Yes”, responded the witness.

“But it is correct that you or your Director do not work between 10-11pm at night?”, enquired Counsel Mene. “For our unit, when the D.G is around, nobody goes home until he closes”, said the witness.

“Before the 14th of April 2016, have you or your boss Omar Bojang remained at your office up to 11 at night?”, Quizzed Lawyer Mene. “When we have work there, we used to stay”, replied the witness.

“Mr. Sonko can you cite one instance when you and your boss remained in the office up to 11pm at night?”, asked Lawyer Mene. “As I stated earlier when we have work, we usually stay there”, responded the witness.

“I’m putting it to you that neither you nor Bojang ever had the course to stay at work beyond the 6 pm closing time before 14th April 2016”, Mene told the witness. “As for our work, before we leave the campus, we liaise with the D.G.”, said the witness.

“The only reason why you remained at work on the 14thApril 2016 was because of the investigation of the demonstration?” Mene told the witness. “We are not involved in investigation. We are on the technical side. If the D.G doesn’t go home we don’t go home”, responded Mr. Sonko.

“I’m putting it to you that there was no technical work that required you or Omar Bojang’s attention on the 14th of April, 2016?”, Mene told the witness. ‘‘As I said earlier on, our team of technical service officers have to wait for the D.G and for anything that needs to be repaired”, the witness said.

“When did you finally go home?”, Mene asked. “If I’m right it was around 3-4am”, said the witness.

“Apart from the 14th April 2016, was there any instance that you stayed at the office up to 3- 4am?”, Mene asked the witness. “As I stated earlier, when the D.G doesn’t go home, we do not go home”, responded the witness.

This response invoked murmuring in the courtroom until the judge had to intervene to maintain silence in the court.

“Before you joined the agency where did you work?”, asked Mene. “I was with Dada construction,’’ said the witness.

“I’m putting it to you that all you told this honourable Court about what happened on the 14th April 016, is a mere concoction by yourself to divert the attention of the Court from the Police?”, pressed Lawyer Mene. “That is not true”, said the witness.

“I’m putting it to you that you came to testify in this case in return for you not to be prosecuted?”, said Lawyer Mene.

However, before the witness responded to the question, Lawyer Gaye interjected and objected to the question. This objection was upheld by the Court and the question was disallowed.

Responding to questions during Cross-examination, the witness told Lawyer S. Fatty, Lawyer for the 4th, 5th7th and 8 accused persons that their work is providing Technical Service.

“Mr. Sonko you were not telling the court the truth. You didn’t see Tamba beating Nogoi.” Lawyer Fatty told the witness. “I saw him beating Nogoi and Mr. Bojang separated us”, maintained the witness.

At this point the case was adjourned to today 6th March 2018, at 1pm, for continuation of cross-examination by Counsel for the 4th, 5th 7th and 8 accused persons and for further hearing.

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