About six members of former President Yahya Jammeh’s hit squad, The Jungulars, who are currently held for months without charged are being considered for release, the country’s Justice minister Abubacarr Tambadou has said.
The Jungulars were used by Mr Jammeh to carryout torture and extra-judicial killings of his opponents and critics during his 22-year long rule in the small West African nation.
Several members of the team have this week revealed at the truth commission how they carried out several killings on the former president’s orders including the shooting and killing of Journalist Deyda Hydara of The Point Newspaper, suffocation of nine death row inmates with plastic bags, beheading and mutilation of two Gambian born naturalised US citizens, Alhagie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, who went missing while on a trip to the Gambia in June 2013, and the execution of 45 Europe-bound migrants comprising nationals from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo trying to get to Europe.
But in an interview with the private television station, QTV, the Justice minister said the men who have been in detention since the collapse of Mr Jammeh’s regime in 2017, have cooperated with authorities and provided detailed and helpful information to the truth commission and he is contemplating granting them bail or granting them their freedom.
“On Monday and Tuesday, Malick Jatta appeared before the TRRC and has so far given information that has been helpful to the efforts of the TRRC to establish the truth,” the minister said.
“Certainly, I will not rule out the possibility of granting them bail or releasing them for the time being until we get the recommendations from the TRRC about what we should do, not only with respect to The Jungulars, but with everybody else. The idea is to encourage more people to come forward with the truth and so far I will not rule out the release of The Jungulars, when they tell the truth.”
Tambadou has already released several members of The Jungulars who were cleared by investigators probing the alleged role of the group in the disappearances and torture of political detainees and opponents of Mr Jammeh.