TRRC: After a Bunch of ‘I Don’t Remember’ Answers, Mendy Finally Admits Taking Part in Killings
Former Army private, John Charles Mendy has admitted taking part in the extrajudicial killings of Lt. Basiru Barrow and Lt. Dot Faal in the aftermath of the 11th November 1994 alleged failed coup, while he was serving as orderly to the then military junta Vice Chairman, Sana Sabally.
Responding to most of Lead Counsel Essa Faal’s questions with answers such as ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I don’t remember or recall’, Mendy initially refused to take responsibility of taking part in atrocities.
On Tuesday, he recalled seeing the then army commander, Babucarr Jatta on the ground who according to him, reached out to hold a side talk with the AFPRC council members, including Sana Sabally, Edward Singhateh, Sadibou Hydara, Yankuba Touray and Peter Singhateh.
“He [Babucarr] talked to them. I don’t know what the talk was all about and they returned to where we were laid down. Sana gave order for us to fire them. At this stage, we were lying down. They [captured soldiers] were in front of us, about 10, 12 meters. This happened at the entrance of Fajara Barracks, around the main gate towards the field. He gave the order for them to be fired at and be killed by everybody who was there. The shootings started. I am part and parcel of them who did the shooting.”
Mendy was put to task by Faal for previously denying playing any role in the killings, including in his statement he submitted to the TRRC investigations team. But he responded that it was an oversight. He later apologized for his action.
“The thing is you just changed your mind. You calculated, you reflected and changed your mind. It’s ok to change your mind. Just tell the truth. That is the most important thing,” Faal told him.
Mendy responded, “I am sorry for that statement. It is not a matter of changing my mind. I just recalled when I sat there going over the minutes and all those things I recall that I am part and parcel of the people who shoot. I have to tell you the truth.”
He told the TRRC that “after the shooting, Lt. Barrow and Dot Faal lost their lives there because they were lying there. The third person, Sir Jackal ran and soldiers who followed him were Tumbul Tamba and Babucarr Njie (Njie Ponkal) but they could not trace him and they came back.”
Mendy testified that the dead bodies of the soldiers who were killed for taking part in the alleged coup plot were put in a truck and taken to Yundum Barracks.