Gambia’s new intelligence accused of destroying torture evidence

Gambia’s new intelligence accused of destroying torture evidence

Gambia’s intelligence chief, Ousman Sowe has been accused by his legal advisor, Baboucarr Badjie of tampering with evidence relevant to the prosecution nine former intelligence officers standing trial for the killing of an opposition activist, Solo Sandeng.

According to a complaint filed with the police and a report sent to the West African nation’s new leader, Adama Barrow, the torture chamber at the defunct National Intelligence Agency was destroyed on the orders of Director General of the State Intelligence Agency, Ousman Sowe.

Former spy chief Yankuba Badjie, who is standing trial for overseeing Sandeng’s torture-death is said to erected the torture chamber and repaint it following the shocking defeat of his boss, autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh.

Badjie is accusing Sowe of destruction of evidence and urged authorities to hold the intelligence chief responsible for destroying the structure critical to successful prosecution in the NIA-9 trial.

Prosecutors are facing challenges with presenting evidence in the trial. Sandeng was buried in an unmarked grave with the mattress and bedsheets he was lying on after he died. The judge has threatened severally to throw the case out of court.

Key prosecution witnesses from the State Intelligence Agency have been posted to far away places, making it difficult to make it to trial, while those that are implicated in Mr. Sandeng’s death “are being protected” and continue to report to work at the SIS.

Sandeng was the protest leader of the April 2016 opposition protest for electoral reform that was brutally quelled by Gambian authorities. It sparked anger amongst citizens ahead of the elections in which ex-iron fist leader, Yahya Jammeh was defeated.

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