Gov’t says some TRRC evidence insufficient for prosecution

Dawda Jallow, Justice Minister

The TRRC White Paper is not an end in itself as according to the government, some of the evidence given at the TRRC are at stark variance with those to be presented in court.

Apart from two recommendations, the Gambia government has accepted all the 265 TRRC recommendations for prosecution and ban on holding public office.

But Justice minister Dawda Jallow told a news conference on Wednesday that a lot of ground needs to be covered in terms of building a cornerstone for the prosecution of certain cases.

He revealed that a special prosecution department will be set up to dig deeper into some of the cases recommended for prosecution by the TRRC.

“Our assessment reveals that some of the evidence ( adduced before TRRC) is completely different from the one to be presented in court,” he explained.

According to the justice minister, a special prosecutor will investigate whether a matter can be prosecuted.

He added that there are issues that the TRRC has fallen short of unraveling and that those pending matters must be dealt with before prosecutions.

Timeline for prosecution

Meanwhile, the Gambia government has not set itself any timeline for the implementation of the TRRC prosecution recommendations.

But Dawda Jallow said work has already begun on a prosecution framework.

“We are working on the framework and we want that done as soon as possible,” he added.

Solo Bojang & secret graves

One of Jammeh’s henchmen, Solo Bojang, is said to be of material importance to efforts in uncovering some of the graves containing some of the dictator’s victims.

The government said it’s looking for support to get the cooperation of Brigadier General Solo Bojang due to his vast knowledge of the location of the graves.

“We are looking for support. We need the required resources because the minimum these families deserve is closure,” stated the justice minister.

 He underlined that exhumation is vital to the efforts of bringing closure to many families.

“The minimum the families deserve is closure. It’s the least government can do for them,” the attorney general explained.

Prosecution of Jammeh

Jammeh has been recommended for prosecution for myriad murder cases and other gross rights violations and the government vowed that he will have his day in court.

“Without doubt, he is going to face justice. Extradition or not, Jammeh will be prosecuted,” the justice minister vowed.

Aside from extradition, the government is also seeing an option in the invocation of the principle of Universal Jurisdiction for the trial of Jammeh and his confederates in heinous crimes.

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Sainey M.K. Marenah
Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.


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