Swiss widen ex-Gambia minister’s human rights probe

Swiss prosecutors have broaden investigations of human rights abuses against the former righthand man of Gambia’s ex-dictator, following testimonies of two witnesses.

Ousman Sonko, the West African nation’s former internal security minister will now be probed for other offenses committed while serving ex-President Yahya Jammeh.

Sonko was arrested in January outside the Swiss capital, Zurich while trying to evade Gambian authorities and seek asylum.

The widening of the investigations into Sonko’s crime will see his detention extended by a Swiss judge for another three months, the third extension since his arrest.

Ousman Sonko was arrested in Switzerland on 26 January 2017, after TRIAL International filed a criminal complaint against him for torture and crimes against humanity.

The two victims, supported by TRIAL International were tortured by Gambian authorities while Sonko was at the head of security services, first as the Inspector General of Police and later as the Minister of Internal Security.

Sonko is accused of having personally taken part in these acts of torture.

Gambia is also seeking Sonko’s extradition, where a court has issued warrants for his arrest on multiple murder charges. They have pledged to give him a fair trial.

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