One Alagie Bala Gaye, a security officer working with the State Intelligence Service yesterday, told the court that he helped Lamin Lang Sanyang, the 9th accused person to dress the late UDP activist, Solo Sandeng corpse before he (Solo Sandeng) was placed inside a pick-up van and taken away.
Alagie Bala Gaye made this revelation yesterday, 14th of May, 2018, before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the High Court while testifying as the 15th prosecution witness in the on-going criminal trial involving nine former officials of the defunct NIA now SIS.
The accused persons; Yankuba Badjie, Louie Richard Leese Gomez, Sheikh Omar Jeng, Babucarr Sallah, Yusupha Jammeh, Haruna Susso, Tamba Mansaray, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang are standing trial on a 26 counts including the alleged murder of Solo Sandeng, conspiracy to commit murder, abduction, assault causing grievous bodily harm, making false documents without proper authority amongst others.
Alagie Bala Gaye testified that he resumed at about 8:00 a.m. on the 14th of April, 2016, and was posted at the back gate of the then NIA now SIS.
The witness told the court that he joined the security apparatus three years ago and stays at the reception, observe people especially VIP who comes and leaves the NIA premises.
The witness revealed that on April 14, 2016, at about 8:00 p.m., he opened the gate for the 1st accused, Yankuba Badjie to exit the premises and as he returned he saw some people around the guard post, he recognised Tamba Mansaray among the people who gathered at the guard post and as he arrived, he noticed a man with dross (an underpants) lying in a sponge (mattress) and motionless while his clothes were hung on the door.
The witness further revealed that he later called his supervisor, Mbemba Camara on his phone to come and see what was left (the deceased).
Bala Gaye said Mbemba Camara came and he asked him who was the person and Mbemba replied that it was Solo Sandeng and left him there.
The witness told the court that after Mbemba Camara left but later returned with James Mendy and after a short while, the doctor (Lamin Lang Sanyang) arrived and he helped him (Sanyang) to dress the corpse.
The witness, however, clarified that himself, Lamin Lang Sanyang and some other people helped to dress the corpse but doesn’t know the names of the other people.
The witness disclosed that he could not recall the time Lamin Lang Sanyang came but it was after midnight, adding that after dressing the corpse he and one Sheikh Tijan Camara assisted in putting the corpse on the back seat of a pick-up van.
The witness clarified that at the time of lifting the late Solo Sandeng corpse into the Pick-up van, Mbemba Camara was at the main gate.
Alagie Bala Gaye told the court that the pick-up van used in carrying Solo Sandeng corpse belongs to the defunct NIA.
Furthermore, the lead counsel for the prosecution, Antouman A.B. Gaye applied for leave for the witness, Alagie Balla Gaye to go and identify Tamba Mansaray and Lamin Lang Sanyang.
The court granted leave for the prosecution witness to identify the two accused persons and the witness subsequently went to where the accused persons sat and identified them.
Responding to questions posed to him during cross examination by lawyer C.E. Mene, the counsel for the 1st accused, Yankuba Badjie, the witness maintained that Mbemba Camara told him that the body lying was Solo Sandeng after the counsel put to him that Mbemba Camara in his testimony said he doesn’t know that the body lying was that of Solo Sandeng.
The witness told the court that he was posted alone at the back gate on the 14th April, 2016 and when asked what he refers to as V.I.P., the witness replied that V.I.P. is a name tagged within the job.
The witness admitted that he opened the gate for the black tinted pajero to go out but said the pajero belongs to the NIA and that day was the first time he saw that vehicle.
Asked whether he saw the occupant(s) of the black tinted pajero, he replied that he didn’t see the occupant(s) but maintained that the vehicle (pajero) belongs to the 1st accused person.