By Lamin Njie

Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou has insisted he cannot shy away from making decisions ‘because they may be unpopular’.

The justice minister faced the fury of Gambians on Monday after he announced he has recommended that three soldiers who said they killed citizens be freed. The justice minister was called out by many Gambians online. Victims have also slammed him.

But at a press conference on Monday, the justice minister said “the decision to recommend the release of the three men, who have been in custody for over two and half years now, has not been an easy one for me especially considering the victims and their mourning families,” adding “but I cannot shy away from making decisions because they may be unpopular.”

“I have a responsibility that compels me to consider all relevant factors in making decisions. On this occasion, I have come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of our country and the victims to release the three men after their testimonies at the TRRC,” Mr Tambadou said.

The decision to release from custody of Malick Jatta, Omar A Jallow and Amadou Badjie was reached by the justice minister last Friday. The three beleaguered soldiers who have been under detention for almost two and a half years appeared before the TRRC last month telling the investigation they took part in the killing of dozens of people on the orders of former president Yahya Jammeh.

Mr Tambadou has pinned their release on their cooperation with the TRRC and has called on Gambians to ‘suspend judgment and give truth a chance.’