In airport trespass case first accused testifies

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mustapha Touray, a native of Yundum village and first accused person in the trespass incident at the Banjul International Airport, on Tuesday testified before Magistrate EF M’Bai of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court.
Mustapha Touray recalled that he was with his friends at his home when some security personnel came together with some boys, asking for him. He told the court that he then identified himself, before the officers informed him about a stolen bag at the Banjul International Airport. He said at that spot, he told the arresting police personnel that he did not steal any bag, who then decided to conduct a search in his house, but found nothing.  He said he was later taken to the Yundum Police Station, where he was again asked about the bag, which he denied knowing anything.

Mr. Touray further told the court that he was afterwards transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department, where he was handcuffed and tortured, and has continued to insist that he knows nothing about the missing bag. He also told the court that one of the Police Officers visited his house and dug the ground to see if the bag was buried there, but nothing was found

However, he said he later demanded from the same officers to show him the owner of the bag in question and the description.
He said during his fourth day of detention, the officers informed him that they have found the passport and the ticket that were enclosed in the bag. Ironically, he said, the bag could still not be found. “I was asked again where the bag was and I maintained my answer,” he added.

When asked by the Police Prosecutor 413 Sanyang whether he was at the Airport on the day of the incident, he responded, saying that he was not there. However, he confirmed that he did give a statement at the Police Station, when asked by the Prosecutor. 
He then denied knowledge of any bag at the Airport as he was not there during the incident. 
At that juncture, Presiding Magistrate M’Bai adjourned case to September 11, for continuation.

Author: Written by Amadou Jallow
Source: The Daily Observer Newspaper