A special prosecutor trying the first human rights case in The Gambia since the ouster of the autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh has stepped aside following allegations of professional misconduct.
A taped was leaked of Special Prosecutor Sheriff M. Tambadou talking to the wife of the embattled ex-spy chief, Yankuba Badjie on the status of the trial without the defendant’s counsel.
Prosecutor Tambadou was heard saying if up to the Attorney General, Aboubacarr Tambadou, the case would not be taken to trial, a statement that has prompted many to call for his resignation.
Tambadou has denied any wrongdoing and held talks with Badjie’s wife, Ndura Jawara on the instruction of the prosecution team at the Justice Department.
Tambadou has denied any wrongdoing and held talks with Badjie’s wife, Ndura Jawara after the prosecuting team gave him authorization.
“I wish to assure you all that I held the meeting on the direction and instructions of the legal team,” said Tambadou, who was not aware that Nudra Jawara was recording their conversation.
“She just has bad intentions to tarnish me or the prosecuting team but be also assured that I did not say or do anything illegal or unethical.”
The meeting had revealed that a plea deal was given to Badjie that would see him implicate seven of his former workers and serve less than three years in prison.
Although many lawyers said what Mr. Sheriff Tambadou did was professional misconduct, he said everything was within the law and authorized.
Yankuba Badjie was arrested in February for allegedly taking part in the tortured-killing of an opposition activist, Ebrima Solo Sandeg and burying him in an unmarked grave.
(Reporting by Sam Phatey and Writing by Sam Phatey)