Yankuba Touray, an ally of Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh has been sentenced to death by hanging.
Touray was charged with murder for his role in the killing of former finance Minister Ousman Koro Ceesay.
On Wednesday a high Court judge in Banjul found Touray guilty of murder in what was considered the most anticipated judgement in the post-Jammeh era.
His Counsel in October 2020 requested the High Court to discharge him of the accusation on grounds that, as a member of the Junta at the time of the offence he is being accused of (1994-1997), he is entitled to Constitutional immunity.
But the Supreme Court of Gambia rejected the appeal saying, the former Jammeh ally is not entitled to Constitutional immunity for alleged murder of former Minister Ousman Koro Ceesay.
His arrest and trial
Yankuba Touray is alleged to have committed human right violations, torture and killings of both civilians and soldiers along with other members of the AFPRC.
In 2019 he was arrested and put on trial after he refused to testify before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission.
Touray is a former member of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) that ruled Gambia for years also served as a minister of Agriculture under Mr. Jammeh.
Some witnesses who appeared before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission alleged that Touray took part in the brutal killing of the former finance Minister Ousman Koro Ceesay at his resident in 1995.
Other witnessed have also revealed in their testimonies that Koro Ceesay was killed at Touray’s house and his body was later taken into his official car and burnt to ashes.
One of the witnesses who appeared at the commission was former lance corporal Alagie Kanyi who was among those who beat Koro to death.
Kanyi said the former finance minister was beaten to death.
“As we were entering the house in Yankuba Touray’s compound I heard sound and it was Peter Singhatey who hit him twice. Edward Singhatey then hit Koro Ceesay with a pestle three times and he fell down.
Edward gave me a stick and I hit Koro and then Yankuba also hit him and the rest were called to join and hit Koro. There was blood all over him and Koro was taken into his official car,” he said in 2019.
Touray is also alleged to taken part in the killing of 11 other soldiers in November 1994.