A German regional court on Thursday sentenced a former member of a death squad from The Gambia to life in jail.
The court found 47-year-old Bai Lowe guilty of crimes against humanity, murder and attempted murder for his role as a driver for the so-called “Junglers” military unit which operated in the West African nation.
“The long arm of the law has caught up to Bai Lowe in Germany… as it will hopefully soon catch up to Jammeh himself,” said Reed Brody, a lawyer with the International Commission of Jurists who works with victims of the regime of former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh.
What was the case about?
According to prosecutors, the Junglers unit was “used by the then-president of The Gambia to carry out illegal killing orders, among other things” with the aim of “intimidating the Gambian population and suppressing the opposition.”
Lowe was accused of involvement in crimes that took place between December 2003 and December 2006.
Among the crimes linked to him is the 2004 killing of journalist Deyda Hydara, a 58-year-old correspondent for the news agency AFP who was gunned down in his car on the outskirts of the Gambian capital Banjul.
Why is the trial in Germany?
Lowe was arrested in the north-central German city of Hanover in March 2021, more than a decade after he came to Germany as a refugee, according to German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.
The trial took place in Germany on the basis of “universal jurisdiction,” which allows countries to prosecute crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, regardless of where they took place.
Two other alleged Jammeh accomplices were detained abroad: former Interior Minister Ousman Sonko and alleged former Jungler Michael Sang Correa.
Sonko has been under investigation in Switzerland since 2017, and Correa was charged in the US in 2020.
Earlier this year, the Gambian government said it was working with the regional bloc ECOWAS bloc to set up a tribunal to try crimes committed under Jammeh.
fb/wmr (AFP, dpa)
Source: Cullled from DW