By Halimatou Ceesay
Mbemba Camara, the 13th prosecution witness in the murder trial of Solo Sandeng, Monday told Justice Kumba Sillah Camra of Banjul High court that he did not see Mr Sandeng dead or alive after he was removed from his cell.
Mr Sandeng, organising secretary of the United Democratic Party (UDP), died on 15th April 2016 at the NIA headquarters, Banjul, less than 24 hours after he was arrested with a dozen other activists for staging a brief but peaceful protest against the former regime of President Yahya Jammeh at Westfield junction, Serrekunda.
Yankuba Badjie, Louis Gomez, Saikou Omar Jeng, Baboucarr Sallah, Haruna Susso, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang are standing trial for his murder.
They pleaded not guilty.
Responding to questions from Mr S. Fatty counsel for the 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th, accused persons during cross-examination, Mr Camara admitted that he has not seen Solo Sandeng dead or alive since he was taken from his cell.
When it was put to him that he did not recognise the people who lifted the thing he saw lying on a materess and put it in the back of a pick-up, Mr Camara responded: “I only named the people I know.”
He added that neither saw or know the driver of the said pick-up as he was not that close to the place and was unable to see the driver.
Asked about the keys to the cell, the witness said the they were not in the possession of any staff but were in the desk drawer.
He added that he heard that another prosecution witness Dawda Ndure was arrested and detained with the accused persons before being released. He said Barra Gaye was present when the thing was put on the pickup.
Reexamining the witness, Counsel L.S Camara asked: “In your evidence-in-chief, you said that the thing you saw lifted in the pick-up was a human being and you also said you knew from the public that it was Solo Sandeng. Under cross examination today you were asked that since Solo Sandeng left the cell you did not see him dead or alive. Can you clarify this inconsistency to the court?”
The witness replied: “I did not see him dead or alive until I went home, and I heard from people that it was Solo Sandeng.”