By Mafugi Ceesay
Lawyer S Fatty, defence council for Baboucar Sallah, one of the former NIA officials standing trial for the murder of Solo Sandeng, has told the court that his client was drunk when the Intelligence Crime Unit officers were taking his statement.
Fatty therefore objected to state prosecutor R.Y Mendy’s request to tender both the cautionary and voluntary statements of Mr. Sallah as exhibits.
He said the officers did not capture what his client said, stressing his client signed the statements under duress and against his will.
But prosecution lawyer R.Y Mendy countered by saying that the defense counsel did not tell the court how his client was induced and threatened to sign the statement against his will.
At this point Inspector Jally M.I Senghore, prosecution witness 23, was called upon to give account of how he obtained both the voluntary and cautionary statements from Sheikh Omar Jeng, former director of operations of NIA, Lamin Lang Sanyang, and Haruna Suso.
In his testimony, Inspector Senghore told the court that he obtained the statements from Sheikh Omar Jeng and Lamin Lang Sanyang on February 23, 2017 at the police headquarters in Banjul and after reading the cautionary wordings to them, both of them wrote their own statements in the presence of an independent witness by the name Fabakary Kinteh after which they appended their signatures to the statements.
He however said he was the one who wrote the statements of Haruna Suso and Tamba Mansally upon their request. He he read it to them in the presence of independent witness Fabakary Kinteh before they signed the statements.