By Baba Sillah
Lamin Senghore, a former private soldier in the Gambia army, who confessed he was a member of the notorious hit squad of ex-president Jammeh, has denied participating in the extra-judicial killings, arrest or torture of officers and soldiers in the wake of the November 11 coup attempt and thereafter.
Testifying before the TRRC yesterday, Mr Senghore however confirmed going to Mile 2 with Alagie Martin to interrogate detained officers.
“Alagie Martin led the team of torturers to Mile 2 which I was part of. The detainees were brought out and they were tortured by kicking, beating and slapping,” he explained.
Senghore further recalled that Lt Col Babucarr Sanyang, Faye and Musa Ceesay were brought out of cell and he sought permission from Alagie Martin to deal with them personally but he did not torture them and they were returned to their cell.
“I did not visit Mile 2 after that incident nor did I participate in the torture of Sana Sabally, a former junta vice chairman,” he claimed.
Senghore further denied taking part in the killing of Corporal Dumbuya and Almamo Manneh, but he said when he was on his way toward the Greenland, he heard gun shots.
“Then later, I found Dumbuya on the ground.”
He confirmed joining the hit squad of the former president known as Junglers in 2001 as a trainee purposely set up for counter terrorism.
“I never participated in any Jungler operation, extra-judicial killing, torture or any other crimes. While I was also moved to the then NIA I was surprised to be made a security guard in 2007 and during that period I never participated in any torture,” he added.
Earlier in his evidence, Senghore claimed that prior to 11 November incident, there was a rumour spreading that there was a planned a counter coup, noting that on that fateful day, council members came with their orderlies to State House and it was suggested by Edward Singhatey that people volunteer to counter the coup.
“I volunteered with other soldiers with arms heading to Yundum barracks. I particularly did not need to sign out my weapon because I was with it throughout the day. On that day I was firing my weapon on the move and I have seen new weapons distributed among other soldiers,” Mr Senghore, a native of Bakau stated.