Saturday, June 3

AG: Govt in talks with ECOWAS to punish Jammeh-era perpetrators

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Attorney General and Minister for Justice Dawda A. Jallow disclosed during the National Assembly’s oral question session on Wednesday that The Gambia government is in talks with ECOWAS to punish the perpetrators of Jammeh’s victims.

“The government is committed in ensuring that the victims of Jammeh will get justice they deserve. Government has initiated talks with the ECOWAS to assist us in establishing international court that will hear criminal cases involving perpetrators that bear the greatest responsibility.

“Some of the most serious crimes under consideration can’t be heard before our courts using our existing local laws. Our courts do not have jurisdiction to hear international crimes such as torture. There is therefore, the need to come up with an internationalised court that will be clothed with the necessary powers to hear and determine matters of international criminal law,” he explained, while responding to a question by Hon. Muhammeh Kanteh, the Member for Busumbala Constituency as when shall justice be rendered to the victims of Jammeh-era crimes.

“Our current criminal Justice system does not have aspects of victim participation that are deemed crucial in prosecution of this nature. This internationalised framework will therefore, give us an opportunity to include innovative procedures such as victim participation, witness protection, and the possibility of holding trial sessions in other countries. We have also prepared an implementation plan for the post TRRC prosecution which should be launched the second quarter of this year to give the public an idea of the government’s roadmap for the implementation,” the minister highlighted.”

“We are ensuring that our approach to justice is comprehensive so that the victims can be satisfied that justice has been done and they can heal,” he said.

He flagged that Government has been enforcing some of the recommendations of the TRRC, saying “administrative steps have been taken to ban certain people from holding public office. We are in the process of drafting a bill to make those bans final. We have identified reforms that are needed to make sure these atrocities do not occur again.”

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