Gambian authorities have more than doubled charges against nine former security officers accused of killing an opposition activist protesting against the regime of ousted dictator, Yahya Jammeh.
The West African nation’s Attorney General has also informed journalists that the lead lawyer prosecuting the nine former National Intelligence Agency officials has increased their charges to 26 counts from 12.
“I have been informed by the prosecutor, Antouman Gaye that they intend to file a motion to amend the indictment to increase the number of counts in the NIA case to 26 from the initial number of 12 counts,” Justice Minister Aboubacarr Ba Tambadou said.
Special prosecutors and the Attorney General are yet to make public what the new charges. Investigations have been ongoing since February.
The Gambia’s former spy chief, Yankuba Badjie is among those held over the murder of the UDP’s Ebrima Solo Sandeng. Sandeng was tortured to death at the NIA headquarters and then buried in an unmarked grave.
One of the special prosecutors, Sheriff M. Tambadou has resigned to avoid jeopardizing the case after an audio of him discussing the position of the prosecution was leaked by Badjie’s wife, Ndura Jawara.
Badjie is alleged to have personally presided over many torture sessions at the NIA, in the form of rape, electric shock, and severe beatings said to have been a common practice.
He reportedly gave orders to torture protesters during peaceful demonstrations by a group of opposition supporters calling for electoral reform in April 2016.