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Edward denies any knowledge of Koro Ceesay’s death


Edward Singhatey ends his testimony on Monday. He accepted involvement in the execution of 11 soldiers on November 11 but denied killing Ousman Koro Ceesay, former finance minister. Edward denied direct involvement in several alleged crimes which were tortures of civilians and security officers. The allegations of torture against Edward were corroborated by a total of 50 witnesses in different incidents but the former military man claimed the witnesses, some of whom are alleged direct victims, were not being truthful.

A former junta member and onetime vice chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council, Edward Singhatey, had denied any knowledge of the killings of Ousman Koro Ceesay. Ceesay was a former finance minister who was killed in June 1995.

Several people including the orderlies of Edward, Lamin Fatty and Lamin Marong, have put the former defense minister at the scene where Koro was allegedly murdered.
The Truth Commission investigating the incident have heard that the orderlies of Yankuba Touray, also a Council Member, were sent on a wild goose chase to clear the scene of the crime. Koro was reportedly killed in Yankuba Touray’s house.

A confessed participant in the murder of Koro, Alagie Kanyi, also placed Edward at the alleged crime scene on the day of the murder. Alagie said he participated in the killing of Koro with, among others, Edward Singhatey, Yankuba Touray and Peter Singhatey.

But Edward characterized Kanyi as a person he would not commit such a crime with. Kanyi was involved in the 1994, November 11 execution of 11 soldiers.
Edward said they believe Kanyi was involved in that coup but betrayed his colleagues and later joined their executions, suggesting he is not trustworthy. He said Alagie was not among soldiers under his orders on November even though Kanyi testified to the contrary.

However, though Edward claimed no knowledge of how Koro was killed, he nevertheless offered an explanation which suggested he may have been involved in Yahya Jammeh’s financing of rebels in Casamance.

Of course, he fell short of saying Koro may have died as a result of that. Koro’s death was never investigated. Meanwhile, Yankuba who refused to testify before the Commission on claims that he has constitutional immunity has been charged with murder of Koro. Touray’s case has already began before the High Court.

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