Gambia’s former spy chief, Yankuba Badjie tried to personally interrogate Ebrima Solo Sandeng after he was tortured in a holding cell outside his office.
Sandeng collapsed in front of Badjie, who was overseeing the torture of opposition activists that were arrested for taking part in a protest demanding electoral reform, a security officer who witnessed the incident said.
Omar Bojang, the NIA Director of Technical Service said his former boss ordered for Mr. Sandeng to put under a fan after he collapsed.
State prosecutors asserted that Sandeng was buried with the mattress and the bedsheet he was lying on after he died of tortured wounds.
Sandeng’s death ignited protests around the capital leading to a violent crackdown on the opposition. Sandeng’s party leader, Ousainou Darboe and his senior executive were arrested.
At least three other opposition activists arrested during the period have died. Their death have been blamed on torture, poisoning and denial of medical care.
Badjie’s trial with eight other officials of the feared NIA is the first high-profile trial on torture and human rights related crimes since Jammeh’s ouster.