EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA:- High Court in Banjul has sentenced former AFPRC junta member Yankuba Touray to death by hanging.
Touray, ex-Gambian minister and key ally of former President Yahya Jammeh, was earlier on Wednesday found guilty for the murder of then AFPRC Transitional Finance Minister Ousman Koro Ceesay in 1995.
“Having found the convict guilty of the murder of Ousman Koro Ceesay in cold blood and having considered that this court does not have any discretion under section 188 of the criminal code, the convict Yankuba Touray is hereby sentenced to death. And pursuant to section 252 of the criminal procedure code, the said sentenced of death shall be by hanging,” Justice Ebrima Jaiteh said, while delivering the judgement.
“From all indications, it is clear that the accused [YankubaTouray] beat the deceased [Ousman Koro Ceesay] with a pestle at his house. That the deceased’s body was put in his car vehicle and driven away,” he said.
Exhibits from Essa Mendy, Pa Habib Mbye and Alagie Kanyi all corroborated that Yankuba had a hand in Koro Ceesay’s death, according to Justice Jaiteh. The body of late Koro Ceesay was charred according to witnesses and Touray has been accused of tampering with evidence to save himself from prosecution.
The judge said Yankuba Touray’s defense failed to present a tangible alibi as where he was when the said murder took place and refused to cooperate with the police investigation by relying on the constitutional immunity.
He added: “The accused person refused to speak to the police and simply invoked constitutional immunity that never was. I have looked at exhibit a the cautionary statement of the accused person and made no mention of his whereabouts on the date in question or there about when the offence was committed.”
According to Justice Jaiteh, Yankuba Touray has conspired with Alagie Kanyi, the two Singhateh brothers: Edward and Peter, Tumbul Tamba, BK Jatta and Pa Alieu Gomez in the murder of Ousman Koro Ceesay.
As the defense for Yankuba Touray said they will be appealing the verdict, many have described Justice Jaiteh’s ruling as a landmark judgment towards delivering justice for the victims of 22-year dictatorship.
Jammeh’s victims, whose hope for justice is hanging by a thread as the faith of the outcome of TRRC remains unknown, welcomed the verdict and hope that Barrow-led administration will implement the recommendations of the truth commission.