By Mustapha Jallow
Yankuba Touray, a former AFPRC junta member and Minister who held various portfolios under Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year Presidency, has been arrested and detained at Kairaba Police Station, Police Spokesman Assistant Superintendent Lamin Njie, confirmed.
Police PRO Njie said Touray was picked up on Saturday, 2nd March 2019, by personnel of the Police and taken to custody for investigation, adding that Touray’s arrest was in relation to his alleged interference with a witness of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC).
“I can confirm to you that he has been put in custody in connection to his interference with a TRRC witness,” he said.
He explained that Yankuba is currently helping investigators and that appropriate charges will be pressed against Touray, at the end of the investigations.
At the time of going to press, Touray was still detained at Kairaba Police Station.
On 3rd March 2019, Gambia Government Spokesperson issued a press release confirming the arrest, detention and charge of Mr. Yankuba Touray. According to the Spokesperson, Yankuba faces criminal charges under Section 36 paragraphs (a) and (b) of the TRRC Act, 2017.
“Police investigations into the matter are ongoing and Mr. Touray is expected to appear in court sometime this week,” he added.
The Spokesperson explained that Yankuba Touray’s arrest follows a complaint by the Ministry of Justice over concerns expressed by the TRRC that he was either attempting to tamper or interfering with its witness, ex-army Sergeant, Alagie Kanyi, or attempting to pervert the cause of justice by concealing evidence that could potentially incriminate him and junta colleagues in alleged atrocities and extra-judicial executions meted out to citizens while in power.
The spokesperson concluded with the following warning:
“Furthermore, The Gambia Government wishes to make it categorically clear that any attempt to interfere with TRRC witnesses, their testimonies or tampering and or concealing evidence
formerly or informally, is utterly criminal and punishable by law.
“Therefore, The Gambia Government urges citizens to take the TRRC very seriously and will not under any circumstances condone any attempt by anybody to interfere with its operations either directly or indirectly and any person(s) found wanting will face the full force of the law.”
In his testimony before the TRRC Alagie Kanyi indicated that Yankuba Touray was involved in the gruesome murder of the late Ousman Koro Ceesay. Alagie Kanyi who also confessed to killing soldiers on November 11, told Commissioners that he was called by Yankuba Touray on telephone, telling him (Kanyi) not to worry, at the said Commission as they are in charge of the situation.