Gambia drops charges against alleged kidnappers of former MP

Gambia has dropped charges against two people suspected of taking part in the kidnapping and killing of a former MP implicated in an attempt to overthrow ex-President Yahya Jammeh.

Baboucarr Jarju and Suwandi Camara were arrested in January by the military for kidnapping former MP Mahawa Cham and a businessman Saul Ndow.

Cham and Ndow were kidnapped in neighboring Senegal’s southern region of Casamance, where a low-level armed conflict for independence is ongoing.

Jarju and Camara were indicted by the Gambia’s Justice Department for kidnapping for the purpose of murder, conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretense.

They denied the allegations and have since being detained by Gambian authorities after been denied bail by a court in the capital, Banjul.

Family members of the victims called it “unfortunate and a travesty of justice” and demand further probing by authorities.

Jarju had purportedly confessed to the police and explained how Cham and Ndow were kidnapped, taken to The Gambia and handed over to Jammeh’s men.

At least 24 discharged Gambian soldiers have been arrested for killing Jammeh’s perceived enemies and some of them are currently at large.

Some tens of people in connection to the botched coup involving Cham and Ndow are feared dead, including former intelligence chief, Daba Marenah.

Jammeh’s government said Mr. Marena and some dozen others escaped after a military convoy escorting them to an island prison in north-central Gambia got into an accident.

Scores of former members of Jammeh’s hit squad have been arrested by authorities in the West African nation and providing investigators with details about some 30 people that remain missing since Jammeh’s ouster.

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