Thursday, May 30, 2024

Ex-junglers to be released? Justice ministry purportedly asks army to ‘immediately’ free Malick Jatta, Omar Jallow and Amadou Badjie

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By Lamin Njie

The ministry of justice has purportedly asked the army to released three former members of former president Yahya Jammeh’s elite killing crew.

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Malick Jatta, Omar Jallow and Amadou Badjie last month appeared before the TRRC telling the investigation they participated in the killing of dozens of people while serving as members of the former president’s hit squad. The three soldiers have been under detention since their arrest by the military police in 2017.

But a letter purportedly from the ministry of justice and signed by the solicitor general Cherno Marenah has recommended that the three soldiers be released ‘immediately’.

The purported justice ministry letter read: “Following the appearance and the testimony at the TRRC of Malick Jatta, Omar Jallow and Amadou Badjie, all serving members of the Gambia National Army, during the week of 22-25 July 2019, and in view of their cooperation with the commission regarding several incidents of human rights violations and abuses under the previous administration, the Attorney General recommends that the said soldiers be immediately released from custody subject to the following conditions;

“That they immediately subject themselves to regular professional counselling by the psycho-social unit at the TRRC; that they give an undertaking to serve as prosecution witnesses in the event that they are called upon to do in any future trial that The Gambia may have an interest in.

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“Upon their release from custody, it is also recommended that they placed on administrative leave on such terms as you may deem fit pending the outcome of the TRRC process.”

The solicitor general Cherno Marenah did not answer a call for comment. The spokesman of the Gambian army Major Lamin K Sanyang also could not comment on the letter.

Meanwhile, Aisha Jammeh a daughter to Haruna Jammeh who was killed by Omar Jallow and other fellow junglers has told The Fatu Network Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou Friday morning had a meeting with the victims where he announced his plan to release the soldiers. The victims are said to have rejected the idea.

The Justice Minister confirmed to The Fatu Network that a meeting took place at his office but he did not give detail. The Justice Minister is expected to throw more light on the case of the detained junglers at a press conference billed for Monday.

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Meanwhile, the mother of Alhagie Mamut Ceesay who was killed by he junglers has reacted to the Justice Minister’s plan.

She told The Fatu Network Friday: “I am indeed shocked, surprised and fearful for [The] Gambia. Firstly, no government or law should make a deal without consulting with victims first. If the jugulars are capable of killing Gambians for 22 years then they are capable of doing it again for Jammeh or for any one with power. And the reasons could never be known, but it could be for money or to flee outside the country.

“Secondly, If the government is doing this to follow the law, it’s true you cannot hold anyone in jail without charges but since they have confessed to killing individuals then the government should release them but also charge them with murder and be taken to court. This is to protect the victims, the people and the sovereignty of The Gambia as a civilized society, in the name of truth, reconciliation and the rule of law. I am very disappointed and we will stand together as victims to fight this to make sure due process takes it’s cause.”

See the letter purportedly by the justice ministry recommending that the three soldiers to be released below;


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