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Norwegian convicted pedophile still at Mile 2—Interior Minister

Gambia's interior minister Ebrima Mballow

The interior minister, Ebrima Mballow, has told Kerr Fatou that the pardoned Norwegian pedophile has been given amnesty on conditions and he is still at Mile 2.

Mballow said the conditions are that Svein Åge Sandåker will be deported to Norway and he will pay his victims fines placed on him by the court.

Sandåker was given a three-year jail term and ordered to pay a D600,000 fine in 2012 for abusing six children, the youngest victim was about three years at the time.

His jail term was extended to another three-years following his inability to pay the court fine.

“The Norwegian was released on conditions that he will be handed over to the Norwegian authorities… And he will pay the fine to his victims…,” said Mballow.

Sandåker was however unable to pay his fine before the court. But Mballow said he has properties in the country that could be sold to compensate his victims.

Sandåker was among seven convicts who were pardoned by President Adama Barrow, a decision that was severely criticized by activists.

The Norwegian was granted amnesty on the recommendations of the Prerogative of Mercy Committee.

The committee by law is chaired by the justice minister, a representative from the interior ministry and Christian and Supreme Islamic Councils.

However, the justice minister Abubacarr Tambadou claimed he was not involved in the pardoning of the convicted pedophile.

And an anonymous source at the justice ministry told an online television, Paradise TV, that the institution is investigating the circumstances that led to the pardoning.

Mballow said Sandåker “has never left Mile 2” but the Norwegian was supposed to leave the prison by Monday August 27, according to the press release from the justice ministry.

“We are going to start a process of opening communications with the Norwegians through foreign affairs ministry. Tomorrow (August 27) we are meeting over this thing…,” said Mballow.

“We cannot do anything that will be grossly unjust to Gambians who are his victims…”

Meanwhile, Mballow has confirmed that the justice minister was in Saudi while the Norwegian was being pardoned.

Mballow said Sandåker is wanted in Norway for a crime much worse than what he is convicted for in Gambia.

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