The Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubacarr (Ba) Tambadou Friday met with victims of the regime of Yahya Jammeh over his decision to recommend the release of three jungulars from detention.
Malick Jatta, Omar Jallow and Amadou Badjie, who have been in military detention for more than two years without trial, became the first jungulars (members of Jammeh’s death squad) to confess to killings at the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission.
On Monday, Tambadou held a press conference in Banjul where he formally announced his decision to recommend for their release, arguing that was in the best interest of the victims and the country. But families whose loved ones the three jungulars confessed to have killed in cold blood, expressed outrage at the minister’s decision.
During a face-to-face meeting with a dozen victims at the Victims Center Friday, Tambadou reiterated that the decision to recommend for the junglers’ release was in the best interest of the victims and the Gambia’s transitional justice process.
“Let us remember that the first witness who appeared before the TRRC to talk about what happened and the people they killed have helped the victims’ families a lot. They also told us who ordered them to do what they did. So it was clear to people,” he told the victims.
Tambadou argued that the TRRC is meant for people to know the truth, suggesting that the jungulars’ confessions were traded for their release.
“The most important thing is that those who commit crimes should come to us and tell us what they have done, and tell us the truth so that we can know what lies ahead of us.”
Not every victim was impressed by Tambadou’s arguments.
“The Minister should have seen the Victims first and have dialogue with them before taking the decision,” said Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh, a former state minister who was sentenced to life in jail for treason and later pardoned by ex-president Jammeh. “If you take the decision without first having dialogue with the victims, it would bring problems,” he added.
Pateh Jallow is a former military officer who was implicated in the 11 November 1994 alleged coup plot and victimized as a result. He was pleased that Tambadou clarified the release of the jungulars does not mean they’ll be granted amnesty.
Some of the victims’ families who have been outraged by the decision to release the jungulars were absent from the Friday meeting.
Meanwhile, Tambadou said the three jungulars would be released ‘soon’. He did not give any specific date.
Testing if I am blocked from posting on this site or on the article wrote on me.
I salute the courage of Minister Tambadou for taking a difficult, but correct decision. In recommending the release of the three illegally detained personnel of the army, he reaffirms his commitment to the rule of law and shows true leadership.In taking this decision, he moves our country closer to the league of civilized nations.
I understand the anger of those who oppose his decision, particularly the families of the victims. However, this must not negatively influence the application of due process.
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S EXCUSE vs THE TIMELINE
Following the change of Govt and banishment of President Jammeh in January 2017, the then CDS of the Gambia Armed Forces Ousman Badgie effected the arrest of Junglers, a chosen assassination unit of the Military. This handful but active, dangerous serving members of the GAF were/are detained at various military barracks. Check this timeline:
– Ba Tambadou appointed AG and Minister of Justice on Feb 7, 2017.
– Junglers, including the 3 that testified at the TRRC got arrested on the orders of CDS for multiple extrajudicial killings in February 2017.
– NIA DG Yankuba Badgie and 8 other members of the NIA got arrested by the Police for the Murder of Politician, Activist Solo Sandeng in February 2017.
– On March 23, 2017, AG Tambadou held a press conference expressing his displeasure with the Police and Interior Ministry for arresting these suspects without consulting his ministry. In subsequent Interviews, he’d insist that his ministry does not have the capacity to prosecute these cases.
– By May 2017, police and military investigators started uncovering graves of victims with details of places and people, with the cooperation of the alleged assassins.
– June 15, 2017, a leaked audio of a conversation between Ba’s brother Sheriff and detained NIA DG’s wife where he alluded to the AG’s hesitation to prosecute the NIA. That he’d rather wait for TRRC when they could be eligible for Amnesty.
– The TRRC ACT was passed by the National on December 13, 2017 and received Presidential Assent on January 13, 2018.
– The TRRC held its first public hearing in January 2019.
– Institutional hearing on the Junglers started on July 22, 2019 where we’ve started hearing confessions of strangulation, shooting and torture.
– July 24, 2019, AG Ba Tambadou granted interview hinting at possibility of releasing the murderer witnesses.
NOW YOU tell me how the NIA 9 and Arrested Jungler assassins’ detention and prior confessions have to do with a TRRC that became law 10 months before the TRRC Act became law?
Since neither Ba Tambadou nor his ministry had nothing to do with the detention of these murderers, why is he giving others to Military to release them and go sit home with pay?
How are the Junglers’ case that different from the NIA that’s been prosecuted?
Will Ba Tambadou continue on his Arsonist adventure and order the release of the NIA 9? If Not, why not?
#ARSONIST #Tambadou is reading the Temperature wrong. And equally disappointing is the reported nonchalant, disinterested late posture of lead counsel #Essa #Faal. Something isn’t right about this TRRC stuff that they’re not telling us. Evidently, only the #INVESTIGATIONS UNIT of the TRRC are working for the Victims.