Essa Faal, lead counsel of the nation’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, has warned Omar Cham, a witness against committing perjury.

Omar Cham served the National Intelligence Agency as an agent before he was discharged on medical grounds after a machete attack by a cattle rustler. 

Mr Cham is among the NIA agents who have been implicated in human rights abuses during the Jammeh dictatorship.

He told the Commission about the torture he witnessed at the NIA. 

Mr Cham said Mballow Kanteh, a former Liberian rebel who was captured with other rebels after attacking the Farafeni army barracks in 1995, was tortured at the NIA after he was brought there. 

He however denied participating in Kanteh’s torture, adding that he heard him screaming inside the investigation room.

“You know Mballow Kanteh was tortured?” Essa Faal questioned him. 

“As far as I heard screaming and I believe he was screaming because I didn’t see anyone else there except him. 

I didn’t tell you I was present – maybe you don’t hear what I said,” Omar Cham replied to counsel Faal.

“My friend you told me in plain Wolof that ‘I saw them’ Now you want to change the story completely,” Faal replied.

Mr Cham said: “Counsel I cannot remember saying that but I know Mballow Kanteh was brought in.”

“Mr witness I have to now give you the warning again and I am serious about it. 

“Lying before the Commission is an offence and lying under oath is an offence. 

Don’t allow yourself to be the first to be used as an example. Speak the truth,” lead counsel Essa Faal warned the witness.

The hearing continued.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba 

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