Human Rights

Coup Trial: Police Investigator Testifies

Jally M.I. Senghore, police superintendent and investigator attached at the Serious Crime Unit at the Police Headquarters in Banjul, today continued his testimony in the momentous coup trial.

Those accused of plotting to overthrow President Adama Barrow and his administration are Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera, Sergeant Gibril Darboe, Corporal Ebrima Sannoh and Corporal Omar Njie of The Gambia Armed Forces and Sub-inspector Fabakary Jawara of the Gambia Police Force.

They are faced with charges ranging from treason, to concealment of treason and incitement to mutiny.

Testifying before the High Court of The Gambia in Banjul today, the police superintendent told the court that the phones, about 10, of the accused persons were brought before the investigation panel.

He said the phones were forwarded to various GSM operators to ascertain the communication of the accused before, during and after December 2022. “However, based on the numbers of the first accused, he was alleged to be their ring leader,” the witness told the court.

The witness said further that two Africell numbers were said to have belonged to the 1st accused.

“The numbers were screened as per their locations, mode of communication and call duration,” he explained. “I later confronted him (the first accused Sanna Fadera) as to what they were saying. He accepted that he did communicate prior, during and after but what their communication was based on I wouldn’t know.”

Senghore the witness added that the telephone printouts for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th accused persons were also obtained.

“How did you know [that] the 2nd accused communicate with the 1st accused?” State Counsel A.M. Yusuf asked.

“Through the phone records,” the witness responded, saying it was the same way he got to know of the 1st accused person’s communication with the 3rd, 4th and 5th accused.

The document was shown to the witness, who identified them as the number and telephone records of the 1st accused.

The said document was admitted into evidence without objection.

“Apart from the 2 numbers you named belonging to the 1st accused, do you have any other number belonging to him?” A.M. Yusuf quizzed again.

“During the printout, I came across a number that was constantly communicating with the 1st accused. But that number belongs to one Karamo Jatta,” he answered.

However, the witness said that he could not remember the number off-head, but added that he could identify it if he saw it and had also written it somewhere else during the course of the investigation.

The police superintendent further told the court that he recognised and could also identify the printout of the 2nd accused. Apart from the printout of the 2nd accused, he said, he also had an analysis he prepared.

The number of the second accused person was read before the crowded court.

Mr Senghore told the court that he could also identify the numbers of the 3rd, 4th and 5th accused. The said numbers were also eventually read out to the court.

The documents, used to refresh the witness’s memory, were marked and retained by the court for cross-examination by the defence, since they were not tendered in evidence by the state.

“So they are not exhibits but are retained by the court for cross-examination,” the presiding judge, Justice Basirou V.P. Mahoney, told both parties – the prosecution and the defence.

After which, the hearing was adjourned till Tuesday at 2 pm.

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