Lawyer Abdoulie Sissoho yesterday subjected Alagie Kanyi to tough cross-examination in the trial involving Yankuba Touray, a member of the former military junta and minister and Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay (FJC), a onetime Speaker of the National Assembly.
Sissoho was representing Touray while Kanyi appeared as prosecution witness. Touray and FJC are arraigned in the high court charged with conspiracy to commit felony and interference with potential TRRC witness.
Kanyi a former soldier appeared before the TRRC and admitted to murdering former Finance minister Ousman Koro Ceesay in the home of Touray in 1995. He told the commission FJC and Touray telephoned him before his testimony telling him to disregard it.
Appearing before Justice Aminata Saho-Ceesay of the Banjul High Court, Kanyi said in January 2019, FJC, whom he identified as “a former Speaker of the National Assembly, an iron lady for that matter” telephoned to ask him what the TRRC investigators asked him.
“She said to me, don’t worry, you people are junior officers don’t mind,” he said. He said she advised him to take care of his mother and promised to send something to him. Kanyi said he called her back to thank her.
“I said to her ‘Ma’m thank you very much for the advice. I really need your help because this TRRC is not easy.”
Asked why he asked for her help, he replied: “Because a prominent person like her asking me to take care of my mother can also help me in another way in the TRRC affair… Talk to TRRC people to make things easy for me.”
Kanyi said Yankuba Touray also called him and told him ‘don’t mind these people [TRRC] they can do nothing to you. Are we not your commanders?’
“He emphasised don’t mind these people, they can’t do anything, we are your commanders. They are only here for two years to f**k off from this place. Then he rang off,” Kanyi testified.
He said he then called back Touray and told him: “Sir, since you are our commanders, you can first go so that we can learn from you people.”
During cross-examination, Kanyi said neither Alagie Barrow, the head of investigations nor Essa Faal, lead counsel at the TRRC advised him of his rights including his constitutional right to remain silent.
“They only advised me to speak the truth,” Kanyi said.
Kanyi said he called Touray twice and FJC once.
Sissoho then asked him: “Which of your testimonies is the truth – is it the one you made before the TRRC or the one you made before this court?
At the TRRC you said Yankuba Touray called you and told you ‘not to mind them’. You told the whole Gambia that you slammed the phone on him and now you told the court a different thing.”
To which Kanyi replied: “I can’t remember.”
Sissoho told him his calls were recorded and were over 5 minutes each to which Kanyi curtly replied, “I don’t know.”
The matter was adjourned to this Monday for the continuation of cross-examination.