By Nelson Manneh
Fatoumatta Jawara, the National Assembly Member for Tallinding Constituency, on Wednesday February 20th 2019, was cross-examined by defence Lawyers in relation to her testimony before the Banjul High Court, on the recount of her arrest and detention at the NIA.
Jawara is the 28th witness in the ongoing criminal trial involving former intelligence chiefs who are standing trial on numerous charges ranging from conspiracy to commit felony, assault causing serious bodily harm, murder and making false documents amongst others, which they all denied.
The accused persons are Yankuba Badjie, an ex-director of the NIA, Sheikh Omar Jeng, an ex-director of operations at the NIA, Baboucar Sallah, Haruna Suso, Tamba Mansareh, Lamin Darboe, and Lamin Lang Sanyang. The 2nd accused person Louise Gomez, an ex-deputy director of the said agency, passed away in Government custody, during the course of the trial. However, Yusupha Jammeh, the 6th accused person was acquitted by the Court, upon the State’s application.
Lawyer Saikou Fatty whilst cross examining Fatoumata Jawara, asked her whether she was beaten by the junglers. In response, Jawara said she was escorted by the NIA officers at night and was beaten by them.
Fatty also asked her whether she knew that the NIA was a Government institution and not an entity. In response, Jawara said she knew the Agency as a center where the human rights of the people of the Gambia was violated.
Lawyer Christopher E Mene in another question and answer session between him and the witness asked if she heard of the group of people referred to as ‘junglers’ and she responded that she has never heard of a group called ‘junglers’ and that the name has never come up in her discussion with Nogoi Njie whilst they were at the NIA.
However, Mene said that during their conversation, she is quoted to have said that Nogoi told her the ‘junglers’ and the NIA, are birds of the same feather. Jawara responded that she cannot recall this; that she could remember giving a statement to the Police in connection to the case, but cannot recall the date or signing it.
Mene put it to her that she signed the said statement in the presence of one Fatoumata A Bah in June 2017; that the said statement is the only one she made to the Police; that the only reason she was denying her own statement, is that her conversation with Nogoi Njie was recorded there.
The matter was adjourned to Monday February 25th 2019 at 1 pm, for continuation of cross examination.