By Bruce Asemota
The trial of 14 villagers from Sanyang charged with offenses arising from a violent riot in the town started yesterday before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court in Banjul. The men who are accused of unlawful assembly denied the charges.
Prosecution witness number one, Police Superintendent Famara Wassa Touray who led the investigation into the riot, told the court that on the 15th March, 2021, some youths from Sanyang village mobilised themselves in reaction to the murder of one Gibril Ceesay, a Gambian by a Senegalese called Gara Bass.
He further testified that the youths attacked Sanyang police station and there were a lot of damages done to many properties in Sanyang.
Spt Touray further disclosed that directives were given to the Anti-Crime Unit to arrest all those involved and he visited the Anti-Crime Unit to screen and investigate those arrested.
He said out of 50 suspects who were arrested and screened, 28 were released on bail while the remaining 22 were interviewed about their roles and involvement in the riot.
The witness told the court that being the head of the panel set up to investigate the incident, the reason given by the suspects was that they were fighting for their right because a Senegalese should not have killed their Gambian brother and get away scot free.
The witness said the suspects’ statements were obtained and he compiled the documents and forwarded them to the Attorney General’s Chambers for legal advice.
The 2nd witness was one Sergeant Ebrima Jawo, a detective attached to Tujereng police station who was also a member of the investigation panel.
He testified that he obtained cautionary and voluntary statements of some of the accused persons.
Hearing continues on the 15th July, 2021.
It could be recalled that Sainey Badjie, Arfang Sanneh, Modou Lamin Marong, Lamin Manneh,Mbye Darboe, Abdoulie Bayo, Yerro Jallow, Lamin Saidy, Samsidy Sanneh, Bakary Kanteh, Yaya Gaye, Jerreh Gitteh, Amadou Jallow and Abdoulie Sima are standing trial on a three-count charge of conspiracy to commit misdemeanor, unlawful assembly and riot.