By Rohey Jadama
1 March 2018 – Lawyer Christopher E. Mene, Defence Counsel for 1st accused person Yankuba Badjie, continues his cross examination of the 12th Prosecution witness Lamin Sonko yesterday 28th February 2018, in the murder trial involving 9 former officials of the NIA before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High Court.
According to the last paragraph of the witness statement to the police, the witness said: “I only know that Solo Sandeng was dead through the media. That’s all I know about him and I say no to all the allegations made against me that I am the one that hold the pipe and poured water on Solo Sandeng, because I don’t know anything about Solo Sandeng during his detention at the NIA.” Mene asked: “These allegations made against you that you are the one who held the pipe and poured water on Solo Sandeng, where was it made?”
“It was the police who informed me of the allegation,” the witness said.
“These allegations are they made on the media?” Counsel Mene asked.
“No, I did not see it on the media,” the witness said. “Did the police tell you the source of the allegation?” Mene asked.
“No, the police never said they are going to charge me,” the witness answered. “The person you called your boss Omar Bojang has testified before this Court as pw2 on the 9th May 2017 and I am putting it to you that if all what you said before this court in fact happened and Omar Bojang was there, he would have said it before the court,” Counsel said.
“I know of mine, not Omar,” the witness said. “I am putting it to you that if what you told this Court transpired between you and Tamba, you would have faced disciplinary actions at NIA,” Mene said. “Ah! We fought but there was no disciplinary action,” the witness said. “I am putting it to you that shouting at your boss Omar Bojang and DG of NIA, would have amounted to serious insubordination and disciplinary action if what you said had happened,” Mene said. “What I said had happened,” the witness said. “I am putting it to you further that under the Government that existed as at April 2016, you would not dare do what you claimed to have done and had happened,” Mene said. “That was what I did,” the witness said.
“On the 14th of April 2016, you told this court that you were going to the White house with your boss Omar Bojang,” Mene asked. “Yes,” the witness said. “It is correct is it not that you were at the company of your boss when you claimed to have seen Tamba beating Nogoi Njie?” Mene asked. “Yes, I saw Tamba beating Nogoi,” the witness said. “Where were the two of you coming from?” Mene asked. “We were going round in the Garden,” the witness said. “You were going round the garden to do what?” Mene asked. “We were going round to see if there is any damage we can attend to,” the witness said. “As you were going round looking for damages to repair, did you see any?” Mene asked. “No,” he said.
“You told this court that you confronted Tamba and started fighting with him, is that correct?” Mene asked. “When I found him beating her, I asked him to stop beating her and when he continued beating her, I grabbed his hands. He hit my hand and I hit his,” he said. “So you people were fighting?” Mene asked. “Yes,” the witness said “Before you started fighting with the 7th accused, did your boss Omar Bojang say something?” Mene asked. “No, he did not say anything,” the witness said. “Before you started fighting, did Omar Bojang also did anything?” Mene asked. “I am not aware of it,” the witness said.
Hearing continues on the 5th of March, 2018 at 1 pm.