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Jammeh junta ally charged with murder in Gambia

Jammeh junta ally charged with murder in Gambia

A former member of the military junta that brought Yahya Jammeh to power in The Gambia in July 1994 has been charged with murder.

Yankuba Touray had refused to testify before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC), which is investigating human rights violations alleged to have been committed during Mr Jammeh’s 22-year rule.

The former president was forced from office in January 2017 after regional powers sent in troops when he refused to give up power.

Witnesses who are called to appear before the TRRC must tell the truth to forego any sanctions for crimes alleged to have been committed.

Mr Touray has been charged with the murder in 1996 of Ousman Koro Ceesay, the junta’s finance minister.

Other witnesses had told the tribunal that the murder had allegedly taken place in Mr Touray’s house and that he had participated in the killing, beating Mr Ceesay with a large pestle.

Mr Touray’s evidence had been eagerly awaited, but when he sat in the witness room last week, he wore what can only be described as a disdainful smirk and refused to testify.

When asked his first question, he got up, gave a talk-to-the-hand gesture and walked out.

He felt that he should have immunity from prosecution because he was a member of junta’s council, effectively the cabinet.

But the attorney general disagreed and Mr Touray was subsequently arrested and will now face trial.



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