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Gambia will seek extradition of ex-Jammeh minister – official

The new Gambia government will seek the extradition of a former Interior minister under exiled ex-President Yahya Jammeh, a senior official has revealed.Writing on his Facebook page on Friday, current Minister of Interior, Mai Fatty said the government will send an official request to the authorities in Switzerland for Ousman Sonko to be extradited to The Gambia over a litany of deaths and disappearances of political detainees linked to him during Jammeh’s tenure as leader of the country.

It is not clear if Banjul has any extradition treaty with Switzerland and when an official request for the longstanding Jammeh ally will be made to the Swiss authorities.

Sonko was detained in Switzerland in January at the behest of a human rights group investigating his alleged involvement in gross human rights violations in The Gambia while he was Jammeh’s Interior minister.

He was refused asylum in Switzerland after fleeing Gambia last November, a month before Jammeh lost a presidential election and eventually fled into exile.

Minister Fatty said his ministry would intensify its investigations into enforced disappearances and the murder of electoral reform activist Solo Sandeng who died last April believed to have been tortured to death after taking to the streets demanding improved election laws ahead of the December 2016 presidential polls.

Remains exhumed recently from a shallow grave in Tanji, 33km from Banjul are believed to be those of Sandeng.

Fatty wrote: “The Missing Persons Panel I constituted continues to work on all leads around the country, and fourteen junglers are under custody, some already on trial for torture and murder, including former NIA DG Yankuba Badjie. I have authorized and invoked international criminal repatriation cooperation processes regarding those out of the jurisdiction for fugitives like Ousman Sonko, etc, and there is success with Bora Colley.”

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