More witnesses testify in Germany as Bai Lowe trial progresses

Jun 22, 2022, 11:18 AM | Article By: Alagie Mbaye of GRTS in Germany

The trial of a former member of ex-President Jammeh’s hit squad continues in Celle, Germany.

Bai Lowe is accused of being a member of the hit squad, known as the ‘Junglers’, between 2003 and 2006 and has participated in the assassination of opponents of former President Yahya Jammeh, including a journalist of the AFP News Agency, Deyda Hydara, who was also the managing editor and co-publisher of The Point Newspaper.  

The suspect, identified as Bai Lowe, is accused of crimes against humanity, murder, and attempted murder, including the 2004 killing of longstanding AFP correspondent Deyda Hydara.

Lowe, arrested in Hanover in March 2021, appeared in court on Monday in the nearby town of Celle as witnesses testified at the court. One of the witnesses who testified on Monday was Mr. D’Angelo. 

Mr. D’Angelo worked for the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and conducted the second hearing in Bai Lowe’s asylum procedure. 

The goal of the second hearing was to establish whether there was a sufficient need of protection in order to grant asylum. 

Mr. D’Angelo used the protocol from the hearing to prepare his testimony. 

He recalls that Bai Lowe was in the military as a soldier and that Bai Lowe  told him he signed up voluntarily in 2003. He showed Mr. D’Angelo some military certificates and he was a member of the Patrol Team. His function was to be the driver. 

He also recalls some of the issues he discussed with Mr. Lowe during his Asylum interview including his time in the army, the Patrol Team, the people he work with in the team and his subsequent imprisonment among other things. 

The other witness who testified on Monday was Bakary Sanyang, a Gambian based in Hannover Germany, and a friend to Mr. Lowe. He explained their time together in Germany and issues they had previously discussed in relations to the work of the Junglers and activities participated by Mr. Lowe during his time with hit squad. He discussed how he helped him settle in Germany and his involvement in the killings of Deyda Hydara, Dawda Nyassi, Haruna Jammeh, Macy Jammeh, and Daba Marena as well as the attempted murder of Ousman Sillah among other torture crimes by the Junglers. Sanyang also explained his previous discussions with the accused on the members of the hit squad headed by Tumbul Tamba. This the witness said included Sanna Manjang, Malick Jatta, Modou Jarju alias Rambo, Fansu Nyabally, Alieu Jeng, Kawsu Camara, Bora Colley, Pa Sanneh, Nuha Badjie, Solo Bojang, Michael Correa, Saikouba Jarjue and Saul Badjie among others. 

The trial is “the first to prosecute human rights violations committed in The Gambia during the Jammeh era on the basis of universal jurisdiction” which allows a foreign country to prosecute crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, regardless of where they were committed.

The Junglers unit was used by the then-president of Gambia to carry out illegal killing orders, among other things” with the aim of “intimidating the Gambian population and suppressing the opposition,” according to federal prosecutors.

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