imagesTHE STATE V OUSAINOU DARBOE AND 19 OTHERS

Transcript of proceedings of 9th June 2016.

Before Justice Dada Case called

APPEARANCE

THE STATE

SH BARKUM – Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)

MB M. B. ABUBAKAR – Deputy Director of Public Prosecution

B DRAMMEH – Bubacarr Drammeh

DPP: My Lord, this matter is for hearing. Subject to your convenience, we are ready to proceed.

Court – Ruling

Since the Defence Counsels for the accused persons walked out of the court in yesterday’s proceedings. The accused persons are charged with offences to which the accused persons can defend themselves in the absence of their counsel. Therefore the case shall proceed.

WITNESS SWORN ON THE QURAN IN ENGLISH

DPP

What is your name?

WITNESS

My names are Deputy Superintendent Musa Sanyang

DPP

Where do you live?

WITNESS

I live in Farato

DPP

What is your occupation?

WITNESS

I am a Police Officer.

DPP

What is your rank in the Police?

WITNESS

Deputy Superintendent of Police

DPP

Which unit of the Police are you attached to?

WITNESS

The Police Intervention Unit.

DPP:

Do you have any particular or special designation in that unit?

WITNESS

I am the Officer Commanding Operations.

DPP

Can you tell the Court the nature of Police Intervention Unit? What do you do as officers of the PIU?

WITNESS:

Our roles are many. One, we are responsible for public disrupt when it happens.

DPP

Are you responsible for public order?

WITNESS

Yes sir.

DPP

What other things form part of your duties?

WITNESS

Patrol duties and guarding the VIP and other security duties.

DPP

Is there any other thing apart from what your mentioned?

WITNESS

Sometimes we guard high-profiled cases to prevent violence.

DPP

Do you know or recognise the accused persons?

WITNESS

I know some of them.

DPP

Who is the person you recognise?

WITNESS

I recognise Ousainou Darboe.

DPP

What do you say about the faces apart from Ousainou Darboe?

WITNESS

Some others.

DPP

Do you know the reason why they are in court?

WITNESS

Yes I know the reason why they are in court.

DPP

Cast your mind back to the 16th day of April 2016 and tell the Court what you can remember pertaining to this case?

WITNESS

On the 16th April 2016, whilst at our base PIU Kanifing, we got an intelligence report that there were people violent at Kairaba Avenue and are planning to make a protest march. Therefore, a riot team of police officers were deployed along the Kairaba Avenue.

DPP

Where were you when the team was sent to Kairaba Avenue?

WITNESS

I was part of the team. We were to monitor the situation. We are on patrol and proceeded to Kairaba Avenue Police station and we were on stand-by there. Whilst on stand-by with my men, I received information that the people at Kairaba Avenue had moved on foot to a larger number protesting towards Westfield. There, I and my team quickly got on board our truck at Kairaba station and immediately followed the protesters along Kairaba Avenue up to somewhere around Comium Headquarters. We saw that the traffic was completely at halt- blocked and cannot pass through. And then we managed to take another route and overtook them up to a distance of 200 meters. We were in front of them and alighted from the truck and were formed up with our riot gears.

DPP

What is a riot gear?

WITNESS

That is our batons, assault gears, assault rifle. As they are coming about to reach to us. I first of all ask them if they have the permit.

DPP

How did you do that?

WITNESS

I did that by using a PA system.

DPP:

What is a PA system?

WITNESS

A big Mic. A public Addressing System. They failed to produce a permit and I quickly used the public proclamation words to them.

DPP

What are the Public Proclamation words?

WITNESS

In the name of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia, all persons assembled here are ordered to disperse peacefully and to go to their lawful business. Persons who did not disperse will be liable to disperse by force.

DPP

So after the public proclamation words, what happened?

WITNESS

After the public proclamation words were read to them, the protesters insist and still go ahead with the march of which the riot police did not give them the chance to go on with the march.

DPP

So what happened?

WITNESS

In that situation, the protesters started throwing big stones on us the riot police. There the riot police also responded and used minimum force on them by using our tear gases on the protesters. That was the time some of them started dispersing and running. But with all that we were able to arrest a number of them at the scene.

DPP

Who were the protesters you arrested at the scene?

WITNESS

I said earlier Ousainou Darboe was there.

DPP

Why did you arrest them?

WITNESS

Because as the unit responsible for maintaining public order at that point in time, the security and peace of the country was at stake. People were running. Businesses were closing their shops and the traffic was obstructed. And even the shops around that end or areas, most of the glasses were broken by the stones from the protesters. Also during the process of that protest, some of my officers sustained injuries. Some of them have seals. As a result of the stoning from the protesters. Because of our swift intervention, after arresting a good number of them, then they were calm down with the intervention of the police.

DPP

Can you tell the Court the way and manner the accused were conducting themselves? How were they marching?

WITNESS

They were in lining-up formula and holding each other’s hands.

DPP:

What is lining-up formula?

WITNESS

Meaning they were in lining-up formula holding each other’s hands tightly and matching.

DPP

What other things happened or you can remember?

WITNESS

Apart from what I said, I can’t remember anything.

DPP

Who were the members of your team when all this happened?

WITNESS

Some of them- Chief Inspector Sarjo Camara, Sub-Inspector Colley, Sub-Inspector Mustapha Sowe, Corporal Ousman Jammeh and others.

DPP

That’s all for the witness, my Lord.

JUSTICE DADA

Yes, cross- examination by the accused persons.

OUSAINOU DARBOE

From the first day of my appearance with my colleagues in court, every human right, procedural right protection provided by the Constitution and other laws has been ignored. I appealed to the court to use your discretion judiciously and judicially. I have been a legal practitioner for 43 years and I should know when discretion is exercised judiciously and judicially.

When the case was called this morning and you ruled that since the defence counsels walked out of the court in the previous sitting, the accused person should represent themselves. The proper thing was for the court to have asked if the accused persons wish to hire the services of another counsel of their choice. The court should not have imposed on us to defend ourselves. That is a denial of our rights.

In view of this, my Lady, we will not take participate in this trial to legitimise our pre-arranged conviction.

JUSTICE DADA

I want to ask you this question: Are you speaking the minds of the 19 accused persons?

OUSAINOU DARBOE

This is political trial involving me and my people. Thus, we are not taking part in the case to legitimise our pre-arranged conviction.

JUSTICE DADA

In light of the accused persons not cross-examining the witness, the witness is discharged.

DPP

Since the 1st accused is not counsel, the court should ask each accused person about his position.

OUSAINOU DARBOE

I am not counsel but I speak for my people.

CLERK

ReadS the names of each accused persons and asked if they have anything to say.

All the accused persons remained silent after each accused person’s name was called by the Clerk of the Court.

DPP

My lord, we apply for an adjournment for continuation of hearing.

COURT

Case adjourned to 13th June 2016 for continuation.

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