Gambia’s Ex- Interior Minister, Ousman Sonko

(JollofNews) – The Government of the Gambia will not seek the extradition of former Interior minister Ousman Sonko from Switzerland.

Mr Sonko was arrested in January by Swiss authorities following a request for asylum.

His arrest was triggered by a complaint from Geneva-based non-governmental organisation, Trial International, in connection with his alleged role in the arrest, torture and disappearance of opponents of the former Gambian regime of Yahya Jammeh.

 Although Mr Sonko is yet to be formally charged with any crime, Swiss prosecutors have last week extended his detention  to enable them to look into allegations of other alleged crimes after hearing testimonies and complaints from more witnesses.

But Aboubacarr Tambadou, attorney general and minister of Justice said while the Government of the Gambia will cooperate with the Swiss authorities, it will not seek for Sonko’s extradition.

“We are cooperating in their investigations and prosecution of Ousman Sonko [in Switzerland],” he told the independent Point Newspaper.

Asked if the government prefers Sonko to be tried in Switzerland instead of The Gambia, Minister Tambadou said: “Whatever the government prefers does not make any difference. He is being prosecuted before the courts and we are cooperating with the Swiss authorities in that.”

He said his ministry is furnishing the Swiss authorities with materials to help in Sonko’s prosecution.