If found guilty Yankuba Touray and Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay could face up to three years in jail or a fine of D1 million or both fine and a jail term. Touray denied any wrongdoing and was granted bail by magistrate court in Kanifing on Monday.
One of the leaders of the military junta that overthrew former president Dawda Kairaba Jawara, Yankuba Touray, has been charged to court for allegedly tampering with a witness before country’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC).
Yankuba, a former minister who held various portfolios during Ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year presidency, was put before principal magistrate of Kanifing Court Isatou Janneh Njie on Monday afternoon.
The police prosecutor Almameh Manga said Touray’s actions were meant to obstruct or interfere with the work of the Commission.
Touray denied any wrongdoing and he was granted bail. Touray’s lawyer Abdoulie Sisoho argued that Touray has not traveled outside of Gambia for the past five years and “he will not”
Touray resides in Bijilo, according to his lawyer Sisoho. His bail conditions include D1 million with 2 Gambian sureties and a title deed within Greater Bank Area. He was also prevented from leaving the country and restraint from any interference with proceedings of the TRRC.
Yankuba Touray was arrested on Saturday and detained at the Kairaba Police Station following the testimony of the Commission witness Alagie Kanyi.
Kanyi claimed both Touray and Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay have called him to tell him not to appear before the Commission.
Ex-army Sergeant Kanyi was Commission’s first witness to have confessed to killings of several soldiers and country’s former finance minister Ousman Koro Ceesay. Kanyi said all the three execution events he was present at included Touray.
Kanyi revealed harrowing details of state-sanctioned murders among them, the allege murder of former Finance Minister, Ousman Koro Ceesay in which, Touray is implicated.
If convicted, Touray could serve up to three years in jail or be found liable to pay D1 million or both.
According to section section 36 of the TRRC Act, any person who “threatens or interferes with an informant or a witness, or willfully obstructs or otherwise interferes with work of the Commission in the discharge of its functions, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one million dalasis or to imprisonment not exceeding three years or both a fine and imprisonment.”
Furthermore Section 15 of the TRRC Act on the Powers of the Commission states under subsection 4 that “all persons, including public institutions shall cooperate with and provide unrestricted access for the Commission and its staff for any purposes necessary in the fulfillment of the Commission’s mandate under this Act, as determined by the Commission”
Meanwhile, Touray’s co-accused Ceesay is yet to be arrested. Media reports indicated that she is in Nigeria but she had reportedly said she will report herself to police upon arrival in the country.