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Germany charges former Gambian President Jammeh’s hitman with crimes against humanity



The German authorities have charged a member of Gambia’s former leader Yahya Jammeh’s “hit squad” the junglers, Bai Lowe with crimes against humanity.

The former member of the army unit was charged for being part of the squad that carried out assassination on behalf of former Gambian leader.

Lowe – an ex-military – was arrested on March 16, 2021 on the basis of an arrest warrant from the investigating judge at the Federal Court of Justice and has been in custody since then.

Pp federal prosecutor announced that the country has filed charges against Lowe on suspicion of crimes against humanity, murder and attempted murder.

Lowe is alleged to have been involved in three “liquidation orders” and driving other Junglers to attack sites.

Among those targeted were the prominent newspaper editor, Deyda Hydara, a critic of the Jammeh government who was murdered in 2004, an alleged opponent, Dawda Nyassi, who was killed in 2006, and a lawyer, Ousman Sillah, who survived a murder attempt a year earlier. Lowe himself described his participation in these events in 2013 and 2014 radio interviews.

According to the indictment, between December 2003 and December 2006, Bai Lowe was a driver of the so-called “Patrol Team” of the Gambian Armed Forces (also known as “Junglers”).

The German prosecutors also accused Lowe, who was living in the city of Hannover, of having notably driven his accomplices to various crime scenes between December 2003 and December 2006.

“This unit was used by the Gambian president at the time, among other things, to carry out illegal killing orders. The aim was to intimidate the Gambian population and suppress the opposition. Against this background, the accused was involved in a total of three such liquidation orders,” German federal prosecutor said.

The prosecutor added: “At the end of December 2003, the accused’s unit was ordered to kill a lawyer in Banjul, the capital of Gambia. In his capacity as driver, the accused transported the other members to the scene of the attack. There, a member of the unit fired several shots at the lawyer who survived the act with serious injuries. A year later, the Patrol Team killed a Gambian journalist critical of the government. To this end, the unit, with the participation of Bai Lowe, stopped the journalist’s car on a street in the town of Kanifing. Two members of the unit then killed him with multiple shots, with Bai Lowe transporting one of the shooters in his vehicle.”

The prosecutor argued that in the aftermath, probably in 2006, members of the unit shot dead a suspected opponent of Jammeh near Banjul Airport.

According to Philip Grant, Executive Director of TRIAL International, who has provided evidence to the German authorities about this case, “the charges will lead to the opening of the first trial based on universal jurisdiction to judge the atrocities committed under Jammeh’s regime, and it would allow to shed light on the paramilitary unit of the Junglers and their ties to the former president, further preparing the ground for his prosecution.”

“The long arm of the law is catching up with Yahya Jammeh and his accomplices around the world,” said Reed Brody, a Commissioner with the International Commission of Jurists who works with Jammeh’s victims. Jammeh’s henchmen have been arrested in Germany, Switzerland and the United States, and the Gambian truth commission has called for the prosecution of his accomplices in The Gambia, and of Jammeh himself, now in Equatorial Guinea.”


66-yr-old South African man sentenced to 18 years for forcefully marrying, raping 13-yr-old girl



A 66-year-old South African man, Bheki Nxasana, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Gqeberha High Court in the KwaZulu-Natal province, after he was found guilty of forcefully marrying and raping a 13-year-old disabled girl.

The court also sentenced Nxasana’s accomplices, Mxosheni Sibiya and Nomvo Nxasana, who is Nxasana’s sister, on charges relating to “child trafficking and forced marriage of a 13-year-old mildly mentally challenged girl.”

Court documents made available to journalists on Friday, reveals that Nxasana had forcefully married and raped the mentally disabled girl in connivance with Sibiya and Nomvo.

According to the the spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Luxolo Tyali, the victim who is an orphan, was married off to Nxasana, in 2016, by one of her relatives.

“Evidence is that the victim was orphaned and lived with a relative in KwaDukuza in KwaZulu-Natal,” Tyali said.

“The relative gave her up to her Sunday school teacher who was friends with Nomvo, the sister of the would-be husband.

“Nomvo took her to her daughter who lived in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape, where Bheki, who worked in Gqeberha, comes from.”

The NPA spokesman said investigations showed that Bheki, with the assistance of Nomvo, initiated “lobola” (customary marriage) negotiations and dowry payments were made in 2016.

“Bheki took the teenager to his house where he allegedly strangled and raped her repeatedly in the name of marriage.”

“The teenager was made to dress in newly married woman’s (makoti) traditional attire and lived at Bheki’s homestead where she worked as a new bride.”

“She managed to escape after the matter was reported to the police in April 2017 and the suspect was arrested.

“During the trial, all the accused claimed that they were not aware of the girl’s age when they entered her into a customary marriage and were not aware that they were acting unlawfully,” Tyali added.

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Former Kenyan policeman, three others sentenced to death for murder of human rights lawyer



A former Kenyan police officer, Frederick Leliman, alongside three accomplices, were on Friday, sentenced to death by a Nairobi High Court for the murder of a human rights lawyer, his client and a taxi driver.

Leliman and the three others were convicted of carrying out the murders in one of the most popular cases of police brutality and extrajudicial killings in the eastern African country.

The lawyer and activist, Willie Kimani, was representing a motorcycle taxi operator who had sued Leliman for shooting him at a traffic roadblock in 2016 at the time he was murdered.

The bodies of Kimani, the client Josephat Mwendwa and a taxi driver, Joseph Muiruri, were discovered in the Ol-Donyo Sabuk River, in the east of the country, days after they were reported missing.

Evidence produced in court showed that the three victims were abducted by a team led by Leliman after a court session on June 22, 2016, and were briefly locked up and later taken out and murdered in an open field.

While Leliman was given a death sentence, former police officers, Stephen Cheburet and Sylvia Wanjiku, received sentences of 30 and 24 years, respectively, while a police informant, Peter Ngugi, was jailed for 20 years.

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