By Yankuba Jallow
The criminal trial involving Yankuba Touray, a former Minister of Local Government and Lands was today presided over by Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the Banjul high court.
Touray is charged with the murder of Ousman Koro Ceesay, a former Minister of Finance during the reign of the military government. The killing of Ceesay according to the particulars of claim, happened at the residence of Mr. Touray sometime in June 1995.
Defence lawyer A. Sisoho yesterday concluded his cross-examination of the third prosecution witness, Ensa Mendy. Mendy said he was the personal orderly and guard to Mr. Touray at the time the alleged murder occurred. Mendy told the court that he was told that Ceesay was killed at the residence of Mr. Touray adding that he (the witness) was not present at the time the alleged murder took place.
“How many people told you about it?” Lawyer Sisoho asked.
“I can’t tell how many people,” the witness said.
“The reason why you cannot remember is because it never happened,” Sisoho said.
“No, it happened,” the witness replied.
“I am putting it to you that on the 25th June 1995 at 2:30 pm the cause of death of the deceased was not known to anybody in the country,” the defense lawyer told the witness.
“I don’t know,” the witness replied.
“When you saw the accused person walking from the living room to the bedroom was it at night and was it dark,” Sisoho asked.
“It was at night, but it was not dark inside because there was light,” the witness said.
“You never tell the TRRC that the living room was wet and muddy,” Sisoho poised.
“Not correct. It was wet and muddy,” Mendy replied.
“I am putting it to you that the defense Exhibit D3 (that is the testimony of the TRRC before the TRRC) you said it was the veranda that was wet and not inside the house,” the lawyer said.
“I have never mentioned that,” the witness said.
“Did you attend the funeral of the decease,” Sisoho asked.
“No,” the witness replied.
After Lawyer Sisoho told the court that he has no further questions for the witness, he was discharged and the trial judge indicated that he wants a speedy trial within a reasonable time. Justice Jaiteh said trial within a reasonable time is a constitutional provision and therefore the court took multiple days for the case. The dates and time are; 13th December 2019 from 10 to 11 am, 16thDecember 2019 from 9 to 10 am, 20th December 2019 from 9:30 to 10:30 am, 27th January 2020 from 2 to 3:30 pm, 28th January 2020 from 2 to 3:30 pm, 29th January 2020 from 10 am to 12 pm, 3rd February 2020 from 2 to 3:30 pm and 4th February 2020 from 2 to 3:30 pm.