Lawyers for Gambia’s detained spy chief object special prosecutor appointment

Lawyers for Gambia’s detained spy chief object special prosecutor appointment

Defense attorneys representing the embattled former head of Gambia’s brutal intelligence agency on Monday opposed the appointment of special prosecutors to try his case.

Gambian authorities appointed Mr. Antouman Gaye with three other senior lawyers: Lamin S. Camara, Rachel Mendy, and Sheriff Tambadou to prosecute nine former NIA officers accused of torturing to death an opposition activist, Ebrima Solo Sandeng.

“It will jeopardize the fairness of the trial,” said Mr. CE Mane, NIA Chief Yankuba Badjie’s lawyer. Mane would be filing a motion in court to oppose the appointment of the special prosecutors.

The trail of Badjie is the country’s most high-profile case since the ouster of longtime strongman, Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh’s regime has been accused of human rights violations and crimes against the state.

Security forces, especially the presidential guard unit and members of the National Intelligence Agency often committed the abuses.

Jammeh protected them with an Indemnity Act, giving them the license to torture, kill and detain his perceived enemies in the name of national security.

It is the first human rights prosecution since the new government took power. Dozens of former security officers are currently being detained helping the police uncover crimes committed by the former regime.

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