By Lamin Njie

Yankuba Touray has special protection by the constitution but this protection cannot solve his problem, a top lawyer on constitutional matters has said.

Former army captain Yankuba Touray in June this year shocked the nation after he invited to the TRRC only to get there and refuse to testify. He claimed he enjoys special protection by the constitution.

UK and US educated lawyer Lamin J Darbo in an exclusive interview with The Fatu Network said Mr Touray was right in claiming he has immunity ‘but that immunity cannot solve his problem’.

Darbo said: “Yankuba Touray was a subject of potential prosecution. You cannot bring him to the TRRC and force him to testify because he runs the danger of incriminating himself or of lying to the TRRC or of being charged with contempt of the TRRC. So he was in a very difficult situation.

“But on the issue of immunity, he does have immunity but that immunity cannot solve his problem. We have to careful here. The immunity that he is claiming, if you look at the constitutional text, that immunity really cannot avail him of anything.

“I wouldn’t say he didn’t advise him properly because people look at these constitutional provisions differently. That’s why we have the courts to disentangle the arguments and decide what is wrong and what is right. Most of the times, the courts have it correct. Sometimes the courts can misinterpret.

“But really the immunity part, I wouldn’t bother with that. That cannot succeed. He cannot say I am protected from coming to the TRRC, based on the immunity. There are other principles, constitutional principles. Those are far more powerful arguments. That is, ‘I don’t want to incriminate myself’.

“The TRRC is a fact-finding commission. It shouldn’t put people in a situation where they would do one of three things; lie to them, incriminate themselves or act contemptuously to the TRRC.”