The Standard newspaper yesterday reported that the lawyer for on-trial former intelligence chief Yankuba Badjie had sharply rebuked newscaster Sarjo Barrow for misinterpreting news translated from the quotidian papers into Mandinka in his popular programme on Star FM.
Badjie and eight others are arraigned in connection with the murder of opposition activist Solo Sandeng in April last year.
Yesterday afternoon, the veteran broadcaster strode into Standard offices, Bakau, to refute the comments by Barrister Christopher Mene, describing them as “false information given to the defence lawyer”.
Barrow said: “Let me make it very clear that I have never mentioned that Yankuba was present when the NIA officers were torturing Solo Sandeng. Never! It is not in any of the newspapers that I read since the trial began up to date. I have never seen nor do I read that story. And all my broadcasts are in records and shared on the Internet, WhatsApp and other media. So this is a lie. It is a false information given to the lawyer. I have never mentioned that Yankuba was present when the NIA were torturing Solo Sandeng in any news I carry on Star FM. I don’t know where they get that information from but it’s not true. It is false. It is a misrepresentation of my news,” stated.
Barrow who has been broadcasting for at least three decades, said “there are so many newscasters in Mandinka most of whom are not trained to present news and don’t know what they talk about”. He said Yankuba Badjie’s family may have been misrepresented him “for someone they don’t know but my name is the one singled out. That’s why I have to clear my name, that, it is not true and is unfounded”.
He added: “My news is clear and let me be very clear that nobody can stop me from presenting what is being reported in the newspapers as long as I am still there to do the duty. I am going to present the news as it appears on the papers. Nothing more, nothing less, whether it is harsh, lenient or what, I am going to carry it out in the best language I can present for the public to understand because most of the people rely on the news we are giving so that information has to be clear and precise.”