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General Martin confirms Bunja’s story on fake coup speech

General Alagie Martin
General Alagie Martin

Following the 2006 coup, several high-profile Gambian soldiers were arrested and paraded before the National Television for confession.

In their midst was Captain Bunja Darboe reading what was then thought to be their victory speech after the coup.

But Darboe told the Truth Commission on Thursday that in fact that speech which played a crucial role as a major evidence in their trial, was fake.

“I did not write any speech but I was made to write a speech in the conference hall… They said I must produce a speech. I wrote one page. And this was the speech they presented to Yahya Jammeh,” said Darboe on Wednesday before the Truth Commission investigating the human rights violations of the former ruler.

“On my free will, I was not going to read the statement. It was a fraudulent speech.”

Darboe’s story was corroborated by General Alagie Martin, a confessed serial torturer who allegedly played a role in the writing of that speech.

Martin denied forcing Darboe to write the speech as alleged but he said it was true he was forced by intelligent officers of the National Intelligence Agency.

The speech was later used as evidence in the court martial that sentenced several soldiers to jail, a lot of them for life. Darboe and his colleagues were pardoned by Yahya Jammeh in 2015.

Meanwhile, Martin has admitted to torturing Sanna Sabally, Lt Colonel Babucarr Sanyang and supervising the torture of Sadibu Hydara who later died in jail.

“We apologized all what has happened… The situation was tense and uncertain that that was how things were happening… Jammeh will give you orders to go and do certain things and you dare not say no. Lot of killings have happened especially during those 4 first years,” said General Martin on Thursday.

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