Recently, the lead counsel of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission has come under criticisms for being unnecessarily critical of witnesses, calling some “liars”. Sometimes, sessions gets tense and Essa Faal would call out some witnesses as liars.
In his first press conference since the Commission started in January, Essa Faal said his method of robust questioning of witnesses which is criticized by some people as a witch-hunt is sometimes necessary to get the truth.
“Where the witness is evasive, uncooperative, misleading or hostile, the witness may be questioned more robustly or even cross examined in order to elicit the truth. In addition, Counsel has an obligation, based on the rules of fairness to put the case or allegations to the adversely mentioned person and we give him or her the chance to answer,” said Faal on Tuesday.
“Thus, questioning an uncooperative adversely mentioned person would in all likelihood be more robust and more confrontational. It is the duty of the counsel to test the evidence provided by witnesses.”