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GERMANY: Staff of Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, a Gambian Testify in Bai Lowe Trial

One Mr. D’Angelo, a staff of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in Germany and a Gambian identified as Bakary Sanyang, have on Monday testified in the Bai Lowe trial in Germany. Mr. D’Angelo was the officer who conducted the second hearing of Bai Lowe’s asylum procedure and had informed the court of the information he gathered from the suspect in his asylum case.

For Bakary Sanyang, he informed the court that he was the one who welcomed Bai Lowe in Germany and assisted him to settle down, as a result of which, he discussed a lot about his involvement in the activities of the Junglers.

The trial of a former member of ex-President Jammeh’s hit squad continues in Celle, Germany. Bai Lowe is accused of being a member of the hit squad, known as the Junglers, between 2003 and 2006 and has participated in the assassination of opponents of former President Yahya Jammeh, including a journalist of the AFP news agency, Deyda Hydara.  

The suspect, identified as Bai Lowe, is accused of crimes against humanity, murder, and attempted murder, including the 2004 killing of longstanding AFP correspondent Deyda Hydara, who was also co-founder of The Pont Newspaper in The Gambia.

Bai Lowe who was arrested in Hanover in March 2021, appeared in court on Monday in the nearby town of Celle as witnesses testified at the court. One of the witnesses who testified on Monday was Mr. D’Angelo. 

Mr. D’Angelo worked for the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and conducted the second hearing in Bai Lowe’s asylum procedure. 

The goal of the second hearing was to establish whether there was a sufficient need for protection in order to grant asylum. Mr. D’Angelo used the protocol from the hearing to prepare his testimony. 

He recalls that Bai Lowe was in the military as a soldier and that Bai Lowe told him he signed up voluntarily in 2003. He showed Mr. D’Angelo some military certificates and he was a member of the Patrol Team. His function was to be the driver. 

He also recalls some of the issues he discussed with Mr. Lowe during his Asylum interview including his time in the army, the patrol team, the people he worked with in the team, and his subsequent imprisonment among other things. 

The other witness who testified on Monday was Bakary Sanyang, a Gambian based in Hannover, Germany, and a friend to Mr. Lowe. He explained their time together in Germany and issues they had previously discussed in relation to the work of the Junglers and activities in which Bai Lowe had participated during his time with the hit squad. He discussed how he helped him settle in Germany and his involvement in the killings of Deyda Hydara, Dawda Nyassi, Haruna Jammeh, Massy Jammeh, and Daba Marena as well as the attempted murder of Lawyer Ousman Sillah, among other torture crimes by the Junglers. Sanyang also explained his previous discussions with the accused on the members of the hit squad headed by Tumbul Tamba.

This, the witness said included Sanna Manjang, Malick Jatta, Modou Jarju alias Rambo, Nfansu Nyabally, Alieu Jeng, Kawsu Camara, Bora Colley, Pa Sanneh, Nuha Badjie, Solo Bojang, Michael Correa, Saikouba Jarjue and Saul Badjie, among others. 

The trial is “the first to prosecute human rights violations committed in The Gambia during the Jammeh era on the basis of universal jurisdiction” which allows a foreign country to prosecute crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide, regardless of where they were committed.

The Junglers unit was used by the then-president of Gambia to carry out illegal killing orders, among other things” with the aim of “intimidating the Gambian population and suppressing the opposition,” according to federal prosecutors.

SOURCE: GRTS Website.. News written by Alhagie Mbaye of GRTS. Additional reporting by LTN.

Mr. Mbaye covered the trial in Germany.

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