Yankuba Badjie, Ex-Director General, NIA

(JollofNews) – State prosecutors in the Gambia have filed criminal charges against former Gambian spy chief and eight other for the murder of political activist Solo Sandeng.

Yankuba Badgie, Saikou Mar Jeng, Haruna Susso, Baboucarr Sallah, Lamin Darboe, Lamin Lang Sanyang, Louis Gomez and Yusupha Jammeh are charged with conspiracy to commit felony contrary to laws of the Gambia and have since been remanded at the Mile Two Central prisons.

Mr Sandeng, national organising secretary of the then main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), was arrested on 14th April 2016 by security officers after he led an ‘unauthorised’ street protest against the former regime of President Yahya Jammeh at the busy Westfield junction some 12 kilometres away from the capital, Banjul, and displayed a banner with the slogan:  “We Need Proper Electoral Reform”.

Solo Sandeng’s death certificate

After his arrest, he was moved to the feared National Intelligence Agency’s headquarters in Banjul where he was tortured and killed within a few hours.

The Gambia government has admitted his death in custody and medical records said he died as a result of breathlessness. His body is yet to be released to his family for burial and in a media interview in May, ex-President Jammeh rejected calls for an investigation into Mr Sandeng’s death, as it was “common” for people to die in detention or while under interrogation.

The former spy chief who was axed earlier this month by President Adama Barrow, was arrested along with other operatives on Monday.

They are the first senior Gambian officials to be charged in connection with right abuses committed with impunity by the Jammeh regime.

Mr Jammeh, who ruled the Gambia from 1994 to January 2017, is currently leaving in exile in Equatorial Guinea.