By Yankuba Jallow
The seventh prosecution witness in the trial of 9 former senior officers of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Baboucarr Njie, has told the High Court that he and his team made the sitting arrangement of Solo Sandeng, Nogoi Njie and 3 others.
PW7 made this statement in Court when giving evidence in the trial involving Yankuba Badjie, former Director of NIA, Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director NIA, Sheikh Omar Jeng alias Sir Jeng, former Director of Operation and six others. These men are facing charges on 25 counts including murder.
Mr. Njie in his evidence in chief told the High Court presided over by Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara, that he is a resident of Sukuta Junction Bar and a photographer and Head of the Scientific Support Unit of the NIA.
He said on April 14th 2016, he was out of office on his way to Salaji, when he received a call from the former Deputy Director of the NIA Louis Gomez, who asked him to return to the NIA headquarters in Banjul; that upon arrival, he was asked to prepare his men and instructed by the former Deputy Director to go to the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) headquarters in Kanifing, to take photographs and videos of the arrestees; that he could not remember the date when this happened.
PW 7 continued to say that they were asked to return to the NIA headquarters because the detainees (arrestees) were going to be transported to come to the NIA headquarters instead; adding that he cannot remember the person at the PIU headquarters who told them to return to the NIA in Banjul; that after a few minutes upon their arrival at the NIA headquarters, the arrestees (protesters) also arrived under escort.
“We paraded them (Solo Sandeng, Nogoi Njie and 3 others) in front of the gate and took their photographs and video coverage”, Njie said.
He identified Assan Badjie, Lamin Bojang and himself as the team members who took the photographs and video; that after the parading of the arrestees, he went back to his office and was recalled that the five arrestees will be taken to the Counter Intelligence Unit; that the arrestees were taken to the Counter Intelligence Unit to take their (the arrestees) individual background information; that this was done in the Conference Hall, upstairs. He said his team made the sitting arrangements of Solo Sandeng and 4 others.
“I was instructed by the Deputy Director (NIA) to set the video camera at the Interview Hall”, he said.
He said this was done for the panellists who were there to interview the arrestees; that the panellists were Samba Sowe, Lamin Ceesay, Kebba Secka and Pa Sering Mboob, all employees of the NIA; that when the panellists arrived, he set everything inside the interview hall and left Assan Badjie at the Hall.
“I cannot say anything about the interview because I was not there”, he told the court.
“I saw Solo Sandeng and others three times: at the gate, in the Conference and Interview Halls respectively”, he said.
He said he was in both the Interview and Conference Hall to coordinate with his men.
The matter was adjourned to January 9th 2018 at 12 noon for continuation of hearing and cross examination of PW7.