The Federal Prosecutor’s Office (BA) takes the Canton of Berne, the criminal case against a former Gambian minister for crimes against humanity. The man who has been sent to Switzerland as an asylum seeker has been under investigation for a week.

There were enough elements, which would not exclude the suspicion of crimes against humanity against the Gambier, the BA on Monday justified the transfer of the proceedings. The federal government has been responsible for such cases since 2011. For the Gambier, the presumption of innocence applies, the BA said.

First, no liability
The former Minister of the Interior was detained at the end of January for up to three months. At this time, the BA wants to clarify whether crimes against humanity can be accused of it in the sense of Article 264a of the Criminal Code. It is only after this that the BA wants to keep informed about the procedure.

For the first time, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office also commented on preliminary clarifications on the case. The Federal Office for Police (fedpol) informed the Federal Office for Police (fedpol) of the fact that the Gambier was located in Switzerland on 29 November 2016. The former Minister had submitted an asylum application on 10 November.

One reason for not taking the man into custody, however, according to BA, was not apparent. The authority pointed out the proportionality and the results of investigations. One day later, the Federal Office for Legal Assistance and International Criminal Law granted the Fedpol a first so-called pre-trial task.

Further clarifications were made by the BA in exchange with international partners and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The question of whether the BA is responsible for the case has also been examined.

End of January
The latest news came when the Berne authorities opened an investigation on 26 January for crimes against humanity against the ex-minister. The Gambier, who was in an asylum accommodation in the canton of Berne, was arrested. The trigger was a criminal complaint by TRIAL International.

The Geneva-based non-governmental organization accuses the Gambier of being involved in torture in the West African country. As the Minister of the Interior from 2006 to 2016, and the chief of the police and equipment, he had to know at least.

The suspect was one of the strong men in the regime of Yahya Jammeh, who had recently resigned and went into exile. According to BA, TRIAL international in the display, among other things, serious bodily injury, coercion and deprivation of liberty. TRIAL, on the other hand, did not claim crimes against humanity.

According to surveys, the Berne authorities assumed that the suspected Gambian was the former interior minister Ousman Sonko who served in the brutal regime of exiled former leader Yahya Jammeh. Foreign news agencies had also spoken in the middle of January of a Gambian policeman with the same name.

On 30th January, the competent coercive court then ordered an investigation into Sonko, for a provisional period of up to three months. If necessary, the examination period can be extended.

It also notes that TRIAL International has “collected valuable information” which is “relevant” to the criminal proceedings. It also referred to the changed political situation in the Gambia and the possible impact on the cooperation of the Gambian judiciary with the Swiss law enforcement agencies. TRIAL welcomed the actions of the authorities in a communication from Monday.

In view of the preparations for a democratic transition in the Gambia, the trial against Sonko can be a symbol of hope for many victims. (Woz / sda)

Source: BZ Berner Zeitung
Translated by: GoogleTranslate

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