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‘We will throw the book at him’—Justice Minister reacts tough to Touray’s actions before TRRC

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Abubacarr Tambadou told Kerr Fatou that they are looking at their options and Yankuba Touray’s “utter disrespect” towards the Truth Commission will be challenged.

The justice minister of the Gambia, Ababucarr Tambadou, has promised appropriate response to the actions of the former junta Member Yankuba Touray for his apparent refusal to cooperate with the Truth Commission investigating the rights violations of the former regime.

Touray was summoned to the TRRC on Wednesday but he refused to testify after taking oath on claims that he has immunity under the 1997 constitution.

Touray was a member of the one-time influential Military Council that rule Gambia following the 1994 coup until it developed into a civilian Government which brought former president Yahya Jammeh to power.

The former soldier faces several allegations of torture and killings including the allege murder of former finance minister Ousman Koro Ceesay.

“His conduct was really reprehensible and he showed utter disrespect not only to the Commission and the Commissioners but also to the victims and the entire country. This TRRC is a national process…,” said Justice Minister.

“The reaction of the people have shown their hunger for the truth… Koro Ceesay was a father, a brother and a son and if he had any part in it, the least we expect is to come forward, as many others have done, and tell the truth.”

Meanwhile, Touray is currently in state custody after his arrest have been ordered by the Commission after his appearance. He was the first witness to have been summoned to appear before the Commission but also the first to have refused to talk.

Many people including the victims see Touray’s actions as a threat to the functions of the Commission as he has set a precedence which could be followed by others.

After his arrest, several people have stormed the Kairaba Police Station with some carrying posters saying he must testify. There was a tense standoff with hundreds of people and the police were compelled to move him to another location.

Meanwhile, the Justice Minister has called for calm and faith in the justice system.

Tambadou said everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty and Touray, like any Gambia, deserves that presumption of innocence.

“In the next few weeks, Yankuba Touray will appear in court and be charged with offences,” said Tambadou.

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