Mai Fatty defends his swift arrest of Jammeh’s human rights abusers

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Gambia’s police minister, Mai Ahmad Fatty, has said the swift arrest of former officials of Jammeh government accused of human rights abuses and crimes against the state was in conformity with the law.

Fatty said the police acted in the best interest of the government and the citizens, particularly the victims of torture,
enforced disappearances and killings.

Gambia’s police and military carried out discreet raids in which more than 24 intelligence and military officers implicated in torture and killings for defeated President Yahya Jammeh were arrested.

“The arrest of some of these elements required utmost secrecy and discretion within the law so as to avert the escape of some of these dangerous elements out of the jurisdiction,” Fatty said.

At least nine of them have been charged with the murder of opposition activist Solo Sandeng.

Investigations into Sandeng’s death are inconclusive and the lack of communication with the justice department before arresting the former officials is hindering the trial, Attorney General Aboubacarr Baa Tambadou said.

A judge in the Gambia’s capital, Banjul threatened to strike out the case against former spy chief Yankuba Badjie and eight others if prosecutors do not come with any conclusive evidence.

Gambian authorities say french forensic experts have arrived in the West African nation to help with investigations and conduct an examination on the exhumed remains of Mr. Sandeng.

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