Meet Ismaila Jammeh, a brother to former President Yahya Jammeh, who admitted to recruiting Junglers, a team of hit-men loosely controlled by the former ruler.
After hours of his testimony before the Truth Commission, the chairman Dr Lamin Sise cynically remarked: “The theme of the afternoon is that I cannot remember…”.
Ismaila is a member of the team of killers call Junglers also call The Patrol Team. Their job was to torture and kill on orders of the former President.
But Ismaila is either always not at the scene or there but does not witness a crime. In 2006, Ismaila was part of the Junglers who escorted 7 soldiers and intelligence officers to their death on claims they were involved in the aborted coup led by Colonel Ndure Cham.
Cham himself would later be arrested and executed. These people executed include country’s former intelligence chief Daba Marenah. Ismaila said he was not briefed and did not know what was to happen to the prisoners.
He recalled the seven inmates were taken from Mile 2 at 1 a.m with plastic bags over their heads and hands cuffed. Though that seem abnormal to him, but Ismaila said he had no idea what was going to happen.
The 7 were taken to a forest in Foni and shot. But he was conveniently left at the vehicle. He neither participated nor did he know what happened to the inmates.
He even had to think twice when he heard that the inmates had escaped even though he was one of those who took them to the forest yet returned without them.
He however admitted participating in the killing of Almamo Manneh.
Ismaila: They brought out prisoners with plastics over their heads… It is not normal… I did not know what was going to happen.
Lead Counsel Essa Faal: Wasn’t it obvious that these people are going to be killed?
Ismaila: Maybe they were going to transfer them
Faal: And to transfer people with plastic bags over their heads?
Ismaila: May be. I don’t know. I was not told anything.
Faal: What do you think the handcuffs were for?
Ismaila: …. I felt sorry for them
Faal: You felt sorry because you knew they were going to die… Did you need to be combat ready with AK 47 rifles and pistol to transfer prisoners?
One of the Junglers, Malick Jatta, had earlier told the Commission that Ismaila was at the killings and he participated.
But Ismaila said Jatta was lying.
Meanwhile, Ismaila had admitted to witnessing the torture of Bunja Darboe, Savage and Buba Jammeh.
“I now remember Lamin Cham was also at the NIA… I did not see him being tortured. But I heard when he was at the TRRC that he was tortured and I believe that he was tortured,” added Ismaila.