Gambia’s justice department was not consulted by the homeland security ministry, resulting to miscommunications between state prosecutors and police investigators in the trial involving nine security officers accused of killing an opposition activist, the West African nation’s Attorney General, Aboubcarr Baa Tambadou said.
Nine former intelligence officers who were only answerable to Gambia’s exiled President Yahya Jammeh have been charged with the murder of a senior opposition member, Ebrima Solo Sandeng, who had led a handful of protesters in Westfield Square demanding electoral reform.
A High Court judge in Banjul, the Gambia’s capital threatened to discharge the accused officers after prosecutors failed to repeatedly provide evidence and full indictments.
Prosecutors said investigations are still ongoing and it will take some time to get forensic experts who are coming from abroad. Sandeng’s remains have been unearthed at a secret burial site and are being examined by the medical examiner in Banjul.
The trial was adjourned three times and if conclusive evidence is not provided, the charges may be thrown out or the nine, including former intelligence chief, Yankuba Badjie released from remand, Justice Kumba Sillah Camara warned.
Gambia’s chief prosecutor, A. Abubakr said a new bill of indictment has been formalized. It will see a dozen new charges preferred against the men, including the torture of opposition detainees and forgery.