Saturday, December 14, 2019

Ex–Yankuba Touray’s Guard Denies Knowledge of Koro Ceesay’s Killers

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By Nelson Manneh

Ensa Mendy, a former Guard of Yankuba Touray, has denied knowledge about the killers of Ousman Koro Ceesay, before the High Court.

Mr Ceesay was a former Minister of Finance, who died sometime in June 1995 while serving as the Minister of Finance under the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC). Yankuba Touray was a member of the redundant AFPRC government and he was the Minister for Local Government and Lands at the time of the demise of Ousman Koro Ceesay. The AFPRC government came about after overthrowing the government of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara and it was headed by former President Yahya Jammeh. Touray is accused of killing Ceesay with the use of a pestle like object and other dangerous weapons. Ensa Mendy, the second prosecution witness in this trial, said he was the personal orderly and later became a bodyguard to Yankuba Touray in June 1995. 

When the case was called, Counsel Sissoho told the court that the state should produce the statements of the witness dated 2nd July, 2019, and 5th July 2019. The witness at this juncture confirmed that the statements were actually his and Counsel Sissoho applied to tender the statements. The State Counsel did not object to the tendering of the statements and they were subsequently admitted by the court.

Under cross-examination the witness was asked several questions by defence counsel A. Sisoho.

“Did you see the deceased at the residence of the accused?” asked Sisoho.

“No,” the witness replied.

“Did you see the accused and the deceased talking?” Sisoho enquired.

“No,” the witness answered.

“Can you name the family members of the accused at his residence at the time?” asked Counsel Sissoho. He replied that the wife of the accused, Mamie Minteh, and her younger sister, Aji Minteh, and the son of the accused, Edward Touray, the younger one he left there and the maid, as well as the guards and one Fatoumata.

Lawyer Sisoho put to him that he named six people who were at the residence of the accused which according to Lawyer Sisoho was not accurate. In his reply, the witness admitted and said the Mr. Touray was only having one child.

Mendy said in his July 2nd statement after coming from the patrol: “As a serviceman, I stood and observed. The place was very lonely. No maid. No wife neither the children. I left there.”

Yankuba Touray is charged with one count of murder contrary to section 187 of the Criminal Code. According to the particulars of the offence, Yankuba Touray, sometime in the month of June 1995 at Kololi in the West Coast Region of The Gambia with malice aforethought caused the death of one Ousman Koro Ceesay by beating him with a pestle-like object and other dangerous weapons thereby committing an offence. The accused was arraigned before the Court on the 8th day of July 2019 and he refused to take his plea and relied on his ‘constitutional immunity’.

The matter was adjourned till the 12th December 2019 at 9 am for the continuation of cross-examination of Ensa Mendy and for further hearing.

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