By Bruce Asemota
Lawyer Abdoulai Sissoho, representing Yankuba Touray, the ex-junta member standing trial for murder, yesterday told the High Court that his client cannot be prosecuted by any court of law in The Gambia as he is protected by the 1997 Constitution.
Yankuba Touray was expected to continue his testimony in his own defence but his lawyer instead got up to make an application that Yankuba Touray cannot be prosecuted under the 1997 Constitution, adding that once jurisdiction is raised, all other issues must be suspended.
Sissoho further stated that there are undisputed facts that witnesses like Ensa Mendy, Amat Jangum, Lamin Ndure and Alagie Kanyi and the accused person himself testified under oath, confirming that the accused person was a member of the AFPRC junta from 1994 to 1997 when He submitted that according to Section 13 subsection 1 to 5 of the 2nd Schedule of the 1997 constitution, no court of law or tribunal can enquire into the activities of Yankuba Touray from 1994 to 1997.
Lawyer A. Sissoho submitted also that by virtue of Section 13 subsection 1-5 of the 2nd schedule of the 1997 Constitution, Yankuba Touray is protected from any criminal liabilities.
He therefore argued that the High Court’s powers to investigate or prosecute Yankuba Touray are ousted by virtue of Section 13 of the 2nd Schedule of the 1997 Constitution.
He submitted that prosecuting Yankuba Touray contravenes the 1997 Constitution and that it is unlawful for any court of law or tribunal to entertain any criminal proceedings against Yankuba.
Meanwhile, the matter was adjourned to 19th October for lawyer Abdoulai Sissoho to continue his submission on Touray’s constitutional immunity.