Sandeng trial: Judge threatens to throw out charges against ex-intelligence officers

Sandeng trial: Judge threatens to throw out charges against ex-intelligence officers

The judge presiding over the murder trial against nine former intelligence officers accused of killing an opposition activist, Solo Sandeng, last year has warned she will throw out the case if the state fails to present its full indictment.

Justice Kumba Sallah Camara last week remanded the former NIA operatives after dismissing the application made by defense counsels to have the charges against their clients discharged.

“We cannot give you longer adjournment,” Justice Kumba Camara retorted after the prosecution asked for lengthy time for investigators to come up with conclusive evidence,” said Justice Camara. “The state is given till the next adjourn date to ensure that the proper information on evidence and witnesses are before this court.”

Prosecutors at the justice department asked for an adjournment for the third time this week, saying the police are still investigating and that securing the needed forensics experts to help may take some time.

Gambia’s chief prosector, A. Abubakr said new charges have been filed against the former intelligence officers, including its former spy chief, Yankuba Badjie. They will additionally be charged for the torture of opposition detainees, including that of a woman, Fatoumata Jawara, now seeking to become a parliamentarian.

Jawara and Sandeng were among a handful of protesters demanding electoral reform. Sandeng died of his torture wounds and was buried at a secret site in a beach village in southwestern Gambia. His remains have been exhumed, his family says.

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