Gambia: 'Jammeh Cannot Benefit From Immunity Provisions of Constitution'

Women hold protest banners in Gambia supporting the return of exiled former leader Yahya Jammeh.

The government of The Gambia has made it outright that former President Jammeh cannot benefit from the immunity provisions of the constitution of The Gambia for the crimes he has been alleged to have committed while in power.

The 1997 Constitution, which is still the supreme law of the The Gambia, has it that no member of the defunct Armed Force Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) shall be held "liable or answerable before a court or authority or under this Constitution or any other law, either jointly or severally, for an act or omission in the performance of his or her official duties."

However, the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) has recommended that former President Yahya Jammeh be banned for life and be prosecuted, after the commission received evidences of gross extrajudicial killings, tortures and other crimes allegedly committed under Jammeh's instructions.

"The government accepts the recommendations of the commission. The Supreme Court in the Yankuba Touray v The State immunity case has settled the issue of immunity with the effect that Yahya Jammeh cannot benefit from the immunity provisions of the Constitution for the crimes he stands accused of," government states in reaction to the above recommendation.

The government has also accepted to prosecute all the Junglers and other persons listed for their complicity in committing crimes, subject to the grant of amnesty that the amnesty committee may recommend.

"The government takes note of the report of the amnesty Committee on the granting of immunity. However, immunity is not applicable to those who bear the greatest responsibility for the human rights violations during the period in question and for crimes against humanity."

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