Swiss Highest Court Rejected Gambia’s Former Interior Minister Sonko’s Appeal

In the ongoing case of Ousman Sonko, a former Interior Minister of Gambia suspected of human rights abuses, the Swiss federal tribunal has ruled that Mr. Sonko has to remain in detention, reports Swiss info.

Ousman Sonko
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The highest court of Switzerland has rejected an appeal by Sonko’s lawyer against a second prolongation of his detention.

In a decision published on Friday, December 15, the highest judicial authority in Switzerland stated that Sonko was still under high suspicion. Judges said that their decision on the latest appeal is based on independent reports by United Nations special observers on Gambia, much like in a previous judgement on an appeal by Sonko. The judgement however notes that the observers had not yet been questioned by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), which also needed to go through files obtained from Gambia during the mutual assistance procedure, Swiss info further elucidates.

The judgement further stated owing to the gravity of the criminal charges and the international nature of the case meant that the procedure could necessarily be expected to be protracted.

A separate court has meanwhile prolonged Sonko’s detention for the third time until 25th January, 2018. Sonko, who sought asylum in Switzerland last year, was arrested in January. He is alleged to have commanded a special squad known for its brutality against citizens in the West African state of Gambia.

Sonko who served under ousted Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, was accused by Trial International, an international justice organisation of having personally taken part in what it described as torture between 2006 and 2016, says Swiss info.

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