By Bruce Asemota
Yankuba Touray, the former AFPRC Junta member charged with the murder of Ousman Koro Ceesay, former minister of finance wants his wife, Mamie Minteh Touray and two other members of his family to testify as defense witnesses through a video link.
Touray is also seeking an order of the High Court to direct the Judicial Secretary to make arrangements with the IT department of the Judiciary to provide the necessary equipment and machineries for the witnesses.
The affidavit supporting the application disclosed that Mamie Minteh Touray, Bakary Touray and Mariama Touray be allowed by the court to give oral testimony through a video link.
The affidavit further disclosed that these witnesses have expressed willingness to testify in the case.
The affidavit further disclosed that Mamie Minteh Touray has been permanently resident in Dakar, Republic of Senegal since October, 2019 and that she has vital information that will help him clear his name regarding the murder charge preferred against him.
The affidavit disclosed that since March 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic the Gambia and Senegal borders have closed and citizens and non-citizens are not allowed to cross.
The affidavit revealed that Bakary Touray and Mariama Touray are permanently resident in the United Kingdom and that Mariama Touray had lived with the accused person in June 1995 and some members of her siblings at Kerr Serigne and she is prepared to tell the court what she knows.
Lawyer Abdulai Sissohor in his submissions urged the High Court Judge, Ebrima Ba Jaiteh to grant the application but principal State Counsel A.M. Yusuf urged the court to take cognizance of the practice direction number 3 of the 2020 which allows court to conduct remote hearing in certain cases.
He argued that Section 24 of the Constitution mandates that all trial shall be held in public and that Yankuba Touray’s case does not fall under exceptions and so urged the court not to allow these witnesses to testify through a video link.
Meanwhile, the matter was adjourned for ruling on Monday, 20th July 2020.