Gambia in dilemma to try junglers

Thursday, May 09, 2019

The attorney general and minister for Justice, Abubacarr Tambadou admits that it is wrong to keep junglers beyond the required detention time, but claims The Gambia does not have the infrastructure and the financial muscle to hold such international trials.

Minister Tambadou described the dilemma the government finds itself, saying it can neither let the junglers out into the society knowing they are confessed perpetrators to heinous crimes nor continue to keep them without trial.

“Considering the nature and gravity of the crimes these junglers have admitted to, we are not yet in a position, we don’t have the infrastructure, or the human or financial resources to engage in a trial that will need international standards given the gravity of the crimes they have admitted to.”

He said they are looking into other alternatives which include having them appear before the TRRC.

It is more than two years since the arrest of the black cops of former president, Yahya Jammeh some of whom have admitted to carrying out some serious human rights violation including murder and torture.

But to date, the government has neither prosecuted them nor released them on bail; and this according to the justice minister is a challenge.

“In terms of the junglers, it is also a concern certainly for the government and particularly for me as the minister responsible for justice,” he said. “It’s a very difficult case simply because there are many, many layers of complications that surround the case of the junglers. These are members of the security services who have admitted to committing perhaps some of the most heinous crimes in this country.”

He said they have been given the responsibility by the Defence Ministry to handle the cases and they are looking for different options but they remain a challenge now.

“The fact is; they pose a challenge, they are the only group of people in this country to my knowledge who have been held for this long and have not been brought before a court because of the extra ordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves presently.”

He said the ministry is caught in no man’s land, saying bringing them before a court would mean initiating a trial and given the number of junglers involved, they would struggle to begin any trial of that magnitude.

Author: Sankulleh Gibril Janko