The Chronicle Gambia

Angry Mob Attacks Police Vehicle as Cops Move Yankuba Touray from Kairaba Station to ‘Safety’

An irate mob Wednesday pelted a police armoured vehicle with stones in an attempt to attack detained former AFPRC junta member Yankuba Touray.

The incident happened outside Kairaba Police Station when the black armoured vehicle carrying Touray was leaving the station, following mass protest against his decision to not cooperate with the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission. As the vehicle left the station, the mob chased it and pelted it with stones, smashing its front and side windows, according to witnesses. In response, the police threw teargas at the protesters.

It wasn’t clear where Touray was being moved to. But a source familiar with police operations suggested that he might have been transferred to a safe house for his own protection.

Earlier in the day, Touray shocked the country after he went to the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, but refused to give testimony. He claimed he had immunity from prosecution under the constitution as a former leader of the junta that seized power in July 1994.

Yankuba Touray at the TRRC

“Counsel I still stand by my position that I invoke the constitutional immunity. The constitution is the supreme law of the country and any proceeding that is against the 1997 constitution I’m not going to testify, and I will not answer any question to this effect,” he told the TRRC after he was given a second chance by the Lead Counsel Essa Faal to respond to the commission’s request for his formal testimony.

Touray has been adversely mentioned by several TRRC witnesses for alleged involvement in atrocities during the former regime. They include the 1995 alleged murder of Finance Minister Ousman Koro Ceesay.

As the police drove him out of the TRRC premises following an arrest request by the TRRC Chairman Dr. Lamin Sise, a group of people outside the premises shouted ‘Yankuba must testify’.

Yankuba Touray

The Lead Counsel held an impromptu press conference to explain the events surrounding Touray’s dramatic refusal to testify at the commission.

“We have discharge our responsibilities to him and perhaps that is what have embolden his decision to challenge the authorities of the commission,” Faal said. “However, like I said I don’t want to engage myself in a legal debate with him. That is left to the discretion of the Attorney General and the courts.”

Faal also called on the public follow the due process of the law, following information that some people were out to attack Touray.

“I think I have made it clear that it is absolutely wrong to threaten anybody, let alone to threaten someone with death. It doesn’t matter who that person is or what he has done.”

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