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City of Banjul
Friday, September 18, 2020

Switzerland extends Ousman Sonko’s detention

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Swiss authorities on Wednesday extended the detention of Gambia’s former Interior minister for another three months amid an investigation into accusations he committed crimes against humanity while in office in Banjul.
According to reliable reports from Switzerland a regional court in Berne ordered that Sonko, who served under ousted Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, remain behind bars as the probe by the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) continues.
According to the decision Sonko has been in pre-trial custody since January after the Geneva-based legal group Trial International filed a criminal complaint against him. The group accused Sonko of having personally taken part in what it described as torture.
“We welcome this decision which shows the authorities take the allegations against Mr Sonko seriously,” Trial International’s director Philip Grant said. “We hope the investigation can shed light on some of the abuses perpetuated by Jammeh’s regime.”
A news report said Sonko’s lawyer in Switzerland, Phillippe Currat, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on Wednesday.
Sonko applied for asylum in Switzerland in early November and had been living in an asylum center in the capital Berne before being taken into police custody on January 28.

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