21st March Foiled Coup Trial

Friday, July 6, 2007
Investigator Relates Accused's Utterances

Detective Lamin Cham of the Major Crime Unit of the police force, a member of the investigating panel into the 21st March foiled coup yesterday told the high court before Justice Anin-Yeboah that during the course of the investigation,  they discovered that the 5th accused, Tamsir Jasseh, in fact knew ex CDS Colonel Ndure Cham when he (Jasseh) was serving as the deputy IGP and Director-General of Immigration.

In his testimony, Detective Cham adduced that Tamsir Jasseh told him that ex Col. Ndure Cham had sent him to one Mr. Njuga at the Senegalese embassy in Banjul with a message that the Gambia Army were not responsible for the bad relations between The Gambia and Senegal and that they wanted a smooth relation between the two countries. He added that the accused further said that Ndure Cham also told him about the plan to overthrow the government and promised him the post of Inspector- General of Police.

Detective Cham further said that Jassey revealed that Col. Ndure Cham told him that as part of the plan to stage the coup, they would damage the infrastructure to interrupt incoming and outgoing calls but that he advised ex CDS against that course of action but to instead remove certain fuses at the Abuko Earth Station, Gamcel, Gamtel and Africell which, he (Jasseh) observed, could easily be replaced once the coup succeeds.

Detective Cham added that Tamsir Jasseh told him that he had visited the telecommunications facilities in Gamtel, Gamcel and Africell and later handed over the map of the layout of the facilities to ex CDS Ndure Cham. He also informed the court that Jasseh told him that on the day of the coup, Ndure Cham told him to go and remove the switches but that he did not go. He said Jasseh told him that the map was handed over to Capt. Wassa Camara who is presently serving sentence.

Detective Cham related that Jasseh later on told him that Capt. Wassa Camara went to the Abuko Earth Station but did not put the switches off as he did not meet a Mr. Njie. He continued to testify that Mr. Jasseh told him that when he met with ex Col Ndure Cham on the day of the coup, he told him that information about the coup had leaked and that he was going to flee the country. Jasseh added, Detective Cham went on, that on 23rd  March he went to pick Ndure Cham from his hiding place in Farato in the residence of one Isatou Lowe and drove him through Brikama to Dasilami and then to Kujubeh in Cassamance with the assistance of Mustapha Lowe. He said Jasseh told him that upon his return he informed his wife and later went to see Mrs. Mariama Denton for advice. He said that Mustapha Lowe was also arrested during the investigation and that he informed the panel about how Tamsir Jasseh assisted in the escape of Ndure Cham. He said the white Land rover in which Tamsir Jasseh transported ex-Col Ndure Cham has since been impounded and is currently with the NIA

Further narrating, Detective Cham said the 7th accused, Omar Faal (Keita), told him he was in Nairobi when Mr. Deen told him about the coup and that he was supposed to carry out some mystic work in pursuance of the coup. He said Faal told him that he later spoke to the 6th accused, Alieu Jobe, who also told him that ex CDS Ndure Cham was planning to overthrow the government and make him (Alieu Jobe) the interim President. He said Marabout Fall told him that the day of Tobaski and the Independence Day were two options for the staging of the coup but that after Faal performed his mystic art, he advised them to defer it as he had a foreboding for betrayal. He said Faal told him that the third time he was consulted he told them that President Jammeh's time was over and that he had dreamt of the president riding a bicycle out of the state house, encouraging them that March 21 was a good day.

He said the 7th accused later told him that Alieu Jobe and one Abdou Deen later met him at his residence in Kerr Sering where they gave him a list of names of both the arrested and those yet to be arrested, urging him to perform some benediction for them as the coup had failed.

Turning to the utterances of the 8th accused, Demba Dem, he disclosed that the 8th accused told him that he had known the 6th accused, Alieu Jobe, for years and that they had certain things in common. He said Demba Dem told him that Alieu Jobe informed him about the coup months before and had even sent him to Sokone in Senegal to visit a marabout.

Hearing continues today.

Author: By Modou Sanyang
Source: The Point