Breaking news:Coup suspect MP Demba Dem says he was nearly tortured to death by his captives!
By Our Chief National Correspondent Landing Badjie, Banjul.
Paid for and Commissioned by the Freedom Newspaper.

The former National Assembly member for Niani, Demba Dem, today made harrowing revelations at the High Court in Banjul as their trial on suspicion of attempting to overthrow the APRC administration on March 21 of last year continues. In his testimony before a packed courtroom of friends, families and acquaintances, Mr Dem recalled that he was at the time of the alleged foilcoup in Jenoi village where he was attending a workshop. However, he said, on 29 March 2006, he was at the National Assembly chambers where he was approached by three plain-clothed officers who informed him that he was under arrest. He pointed out that he was whisked away to Mile II the same day and taken to the maximum security wing of the prison.

According to Mr Dem,while in the prison on 29 March, some soldiers came for him and took him to the NIA Headquarters where he faced a panel of 25 panelists. He recalled that those in the panel include Momodou Hydara, Baba Saho and Musa Dibba. He also recalled seeing the feared Musa Jammeh before facing the panel. The former Niani NAM narrated that whilst before the panel, he was asked to give his account of the alleged coup attempt but replied that he knew nothing about it. ‘ I was informed by Hydara that if I don’t comply, I would be handed over to soldiers. I still insisted that I knew nothing. For that day, I was returned to the prisons but on 30 March 2006, I was taken from the prisons by soldiers Malick Jammeh, Pa Malick Jatta, Sana Manjang,among others, and taken back to NIA Headquarters. At the HQ, I was taken behind a house and told to kneel down. Then one of the soldiers poured water on me in the chilly night and they started beating me all over my body. I was hit with both whips and knives,’ Dem stated.

He showed the scars on his body and his torn shirt was also admitted in evidence and marked as exhibit. Mr Dem told the court that his statement was not voluntarily obtained and he even showed the court a scar inflicted on him by Malick Jatta who placed a
knife on his finger,threatening to cut it if he refuse to sign the statement. He added that he only made one signature on the statement and not two as indicated before the court. At that juncture, the defense counsel applied for the adjournment of the
case so a handwriting expert can examine the signatures.

Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 (Archive on Sunday, June 03, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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