Dictator Hunter says perpetrators testimony enough to prosecute Jammeh

Apr 22, 2021, 9:36 AM | Article By: Sankulleh Gibril Janko

Renowned international human rights advocate, Reed Brody, also fondly called Dictator Hunter says the testimonies of direct perpetrators at the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) could be enough to convict former President Yahya Jammeh.

The Human Right Watch lawyer told this reporter via telephone conversation that the former strongman can actually be brought to book.

Asked if the testimonies of perpetrators are sufficient enough to prosecute Jammeh, the American lawyer would hope so.

"Direct perpetrators have implicated Jammeh in murder, torture and a host of other terrible crimes," he said. "If they repeated those statements at a trial in which they were subject to cross-examination by Jammeh's lawyers, it could be enough to sustain a conviction."

Asked on the best possible trial for Jammeh in order to get the desired justice by the victims, Mr. Brody said, "a so-called hybrid court between The Gambia and the AU or ECOWAS with mostly Gambian judges could bring the best of both worlds.

"It could have its seat and most trials in The Gambia but for a Jammeh trial could sit elsewhere in the region."

Many fear bringing Jammeh back to The Gambia for a possible trial is not feasible bearing in mind the APRC founder still has a strong support in the country. Apart from The Gambia, however, there are other places where he could be tried based on international law, according to Reed Brody.

"Jammeh could be tried in The Gambia, ICC, or a third country such as Ghana which lost 44 of its citizens."

As the TRRC wraps up public hearings and preparing to deliver a report on its findings, calls have been heightened by victims and Civil Society Organisations for The Gambia government to implement the recommendations of the commission.

According to the human rights lawyer, one of the ways to ensure that the authorities implement the TRRC recommendations, victims and CSOs should use the election trail and ask each of the candidates and parties to commit to implementing the TRRC recommendations.

Reed Brody specialises in helping victims pursue justice against atrocities.

He served as a defence counsel for victims in the case of former Chadian President Hissén Habré, who was later convicted for crimes against humanity in Senegal and subsequently jailed.

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