Human Rights Legal Matters News

Justice Ministry Reacts to Ousman Sonko’s Indictment in Switzerland

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice has said that the pursuit of justice will eventually reach those who commit crimes, regardless of time or location; and that patience is necessary, as trials can be lengthy and complicated, even in developed countries like Switzerland.

Honorable Dawda A. Jallow made these remarks while reacting and expressing satisfaction over the indictment of former Interior Minister Ousman Sonko on charges of crimes against humanity by the Swiss authorities.
Minister Jallow said Sonko was arrested in January 2017 while seeking asylum in Switzerland. Since then, the Ministry of Justice has been collaborating with Swiss authorities during the pretrial period and Sonko’s detention.
He explained that the Ministry of Justice’s Criminal Division cooperated with Swiss prosecutors throughout their investigations in The Gambia, which included facilitating and arranging for witnesses to provide testimonies.

Most of the interviews during the investigation, he informed, were conducted in person, with witnesses appearing before the prosecutors to answer questions. However, he said some interviews were conducted virtually, allowing Swiss authorities to monitor the proceedings remotely.

Minister Jallow pointed out that now that Sonko has been formally charged, the prosecution will present evidence, and Sonko’s defence team will put forth their version of the case. The court will then determine Sonko’s guilt or innocence.

The Justice Jallow assured that the government remains dedicated to implementing the TRRC recommendations and the entire transitional justice programme.

Mr Ousman Sonko served as Interior Minister from 2006 to 2016 under Yaya Jammeh’s regime.

Source: Ministry of Justice

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