By Buba Gagigo
The former Gambian spy chief, Yankuba Badjie (1st accused in the 9 National Intelligence Officers case) broke into tears as he appealed for mercy before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara at the High Court in Banjul on Wednesday.
“As you can see, I am a young man and I got a family. I am the one who is taking care all of them. Please have mercy on your sentenced,” Badjie said before he broke into tears.
The other former operatives of the agency also convicted appealed for the mercy of the court.
The 4th accused person, Babucarr Sallah said: “From 1969 to 2014, I have never been involved in any problem. I am appealing because I have kids and they are very young.”
The 7th accused person, Tamba Masirreh who was sick and could not stand and talk due to his health condition was granted by the judge to sit down to make his plea.
He appealed for the judge to have mercy on him due to his health condition.
The 8th accused person, Lamin Darboe said he had never laid hands or arrested anyone throughout his career.
However, the Judge, Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara then told him that the plea was not time to deny but to plead to the court.
Darboe then pleaded: “I am begging you. I have family to take care.’
The Medic, Lamin Lang Sanyang who is 9th accused person also made his plea of mitigation.
“It is a shock and heartbreaking. I have a family of thirteen. I have two wives and five school going children and I am the breadwinner of the family. I appeal for you to have mercy,” he said.
On Wednesday, Yankuba Badjie, ex-director of the NIA (1st accused); with his colleagues, Sheikh Omar Jeng, the ex-director of operations (3rd accused) Baboucarr Sallah (4th accused); Tamba Masirreh (7th accused); and Lamin Darboe (8th accused) are sentenced to death for the murder of Solo Sandeng in April 2016.
Similarly, Lamin Lang Sanyang, ex NIA medic is sentenced to 10-years in prison for making documents without authority and five years for forging the death certificate of the late Solo Sandeng.
However, Louis Gomez, ex-deputy director of the said agency (2nd accused) died in the course of the trial in the custody of the State; and Yusupha Jammeh, (5th accused person) was acquitted by the Court before the end of the trial upon the State’s application for his acquittal for lack of evidence to continue prosecuting him; and Haruna Suso (6th accused person) is discharged and acquitted on all counts and he shall be released.
The prosecution team was headed by Lawyer Antouman A.B. Gaye and the other lawyers in the team were Rachel Y. Mendy, Lamin S. Camara, Yassin Senghore and Combeh Gaye.