Sunday, June 11

Ex-minister says Jammeh is pathological liar

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Former attorney general and high court judge Lamin Jobarteh has said the former president, Yahya Jammeh, is a pathological liar with capacity to do or say anything.

Jobarteh was responding to questions about Jammeh’s suggestions that the executions in 2012 of nine death-row inmates were carried out on the legal advice and participation of the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Justice which he [Jobarteh] headed at the time.

Jobarteh denied sidestepping his responsibility to advise Yahya Jammeh on the illegality or otherwise of the killings.

He told the commission that his powers as justice minister were rendered ineffectual when Jammeh took personal control of directing the process of the killings from the onset.

Jobarteh appeared before the truth commission yesterday to explain his alleged roles in the torture of some former Gambian members of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia and his failure to ensure the executions in 2012 of the nine prisoners conformed to the law.

In a seven-hour gruelling session, TRRC lead counsel Essa Faal and the former high court judge were involved in heated exchanges over whether he was the driving force behind the executions with regard to the law as well as abrogating his responsibility in advising Jammeh to follow the approved legal process.

Torture allegations

Jobarteh strenuously denied involvement in the torture of some of the people involved in the 1996 assault on the 2nd Infantry Battalion in Farafenni.

Jammeh’s lies

Still giving his testimony before the commission, Jobarteh characterised Jammeh as bizarre, considering what he called, a life of lies and deceptions the former president led.

He recalled a day when Jammeh bragged to them how he was summoned to restore order in Sir Dawda Jawara’s house when one of the first president’s wives was disorderly.

“He [Jammeh] said when he pointed his finger at the lady and said ‘Go back!’, the lady went back. He said he came to the Janjangbureh bridge and spoke with the jinn there,” Jobarteh recalled, saying Jammeh had tried to use Sheriff Dibba to corroborate his story.