Gambia’s ex-spy chief, others appear in court

APA-Banjul (The Gambia)

There were angry scenes at Banjul High Court on Monday as the former Director General of the then National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Yankuba Badjie was paraded for a hearing over last year’s killing of opposition electoral reform activist Solo Sandeng.

Badjie was paraded in court with the former NIA Director of Operations, Sheikh Omar Jeng among others, accused of torturing to death Mr Sandeng, after the senior member of the United Democratic Party (UDP) took to the streets with his supporters last April demanding electoral reforms ahead of elections.

Mr Sandeng's family including his daughter and son, Fatoumata and Muhammed Sandeng and scores of his sympathizers stormed the court complex shouting angry slogans against the accused, saying they should not be spared.

Others were in tears at the emotive moment when Sandeng's children came face-to-face with their father's alleged killers.

After the case was mentioned, Presiding judge, Justice Kumba Bah adjourned the hearing to an undisclosed date for cross examination.

The ex-NIA operatives rounded up on February 21, have been in detention pending an investigation into the circumstances attending to Sandeng’s death and other cases of deaths and disappearances during former President Yahya Jammeh's 22-year rule.

The remains believed to be those of Solo Sandeng were recently exhumed from a shallow grave at a secret location in the coastal settlement of Tanji, 33km outside the capital Banjul.

The grave was allegedly located by Jeng one of the NIA accused.

The remains are still in the country's main hospital in Banjul where they are undergoing a postmortem.


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