Senior Gambian lawyer, Antouman Gaye has been appointed a special prosecutor by the Gambia’s Attorney General and Justice Minister, Aboubacarr Baa Tambadou to try nine former intelligence officer indicted for torturing an opposition activist to death.
Tambadou said the appointment of a special prosecutor is necessitated by the understaffing of the Justice Department, which is already overwhelmed with investigations into civil and human rights abuses of the former regime.
“The Ministry is currently overwhelmed with other activities, and we presently do not have the staff strength to cope with current demands,” Tambadou said.
“I am on the verge of appointing a senior Gambian lawyer, Mr. Antouman Gaye, as a special prosecutor to take over the prosecution of the NIA 9 case for a fee.”
The nine former intelligence officers, including former spy chief Yankuba Badjie, were arrested in February for the killing of Ebrima Solo Sandeng.
Sandeng was arrested by the police last year in April for leading an opposition protest demanding electoral reform. He and a handful of protesters were tortured leading to his death.
Under ex-despot, Yahya Jammeh, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) were most frequently implicated in torturing and killing citizens with impunity.
Those targeted included journalists, political opponents, LGBT people, and Jammeh’s perceived enemies, many of whom fled Gambia out of fear.
Human Rights Watch urged Gambia’s to prosecute those responsible for grave crimes committed during the 22-year rule of Yahya Jammeh and says fair trials are crucial for victims and their families and for building respect for the rule of law in the country.