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Court Of Appeal Upheld Yankuba Touray’s Death Sentence

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Yankuba Touray Arriving at court today December 13th .

By Landing Ceesay 

The Gambia Court of Appeal on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, upheld Justice Ebrima Jaiteh’s death sentence ruling for Yankuba Touray, former Junta member. 

On 14th July 2021, the High Court of the Gambia found former Junta member, Yankuba Touray guilty of the murder of former Finance Minister, Ousman Koro Ceesay, and sentenced him to death by hanging.

Yankuba Touray, one time Minister of Local Government and Lands under the AFPRC government was tried and convicted on a criminal charge of the murder of Ousman Koro Ceesay, subsequent to his refusal to testify before the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC) on circumstances of Ceesay’s death in 1995 which certain TRRC witnesses alleged took place at Touray’s house.

The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission witnesses further alleged that Yankuba participated in the killing of the young finance minister.

Less than a year after his conviction and subsequent sentencing, Touray, on 6th June 2022, appeared at the Court of Appeal challenging the High Court decision.

On the 18th of October 2022 the Court of Appeal adopted the briefs of arguments filed by both the appellant and the state. The court then scheduled December 13th, 2022, for ruling on the appeal case. 

In delivering her ruling on the appeal case, Justice Na Ceesay Salla Wadda, the President of the Court of Appeal of the Gambia said the trial judge (Justice Jaiteh) properly evaluate the evidence adduced by the Prosecution during the trial before delivering his judgment. 

Justice Na Ceesay Salla Wadda said it was established that the appellant’s (Yankuba Touray) family was taken to Edward Singhateh’s house for a birthday party on the night of the incident. 

The Court of Appeal President further stated the testimony of the fourth Prosecution Witness (PW4) that on the night of the incident the appellant’s (Yankuba Touray) family was taken to Edward Singahteh’s house for a birthday party corroborated with the testimonies of PW2 and PW3. 

Justice Na Ceesay Salla Wadda said there is also no material evidence in the record of the proceeding that shows that the testimonies of PW2, PW3, and PW4 were discredited during cross-examination. 

Justice Salla Wadda further stated that the claim made by the appellant that PW6 testimony before the court and that of the TRRC are not the same is incorrect, as she could not see any difference between the two testimonies of PW6. 

Justice Salla-Wadda said she agrees with the trial judge (Justice Jaiteh) that the testimonies of PW2, PW3, PW4, PW5, PW6, and PW7 corroborated and that they were not discredited during cross-examination by the appellant (Yankuba Touray). 

Justice Salla Wadda said the cross-examination of the appellant could not destroy the evidence adduced by the Prosecution. 

Justice Na Ceesay Salla Wadda said the trial judge (Justice Jaiteh) properly and efficiently evaluated the evidence adduced by the Prosecution before arriving at the decision he made. 

Justice Salla Wadda ruled that the Prosecution proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Justice Na Ceesay Salla Wadda then dismissed the appellant’s case and upheld the decision of the High Court.

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