Sunday, May 18, 2014

Former Foreign Minister's safety is of concern

Mr. Mambury Njie, former Minister of Foreign Affairs who was released from police custody was returned to the High Court on 8th May where he faced two charges of economic crimes and negligence of official duties.

The former Minister pleaded not guilty to both charges of economic crime and negligence of duty.  But instead of being released on bail as was the case previously, Mr. Njie was remanded in the notoriously dangerous Mile II prisons until 14th May when the court was again adjourned.

Since he was relieved of his functions as Minister of Higher Education last year, he has been in and out of police custody and from one police retention center to another, and from one court to another.

Government's motives are being questioned by those who are keen followers of the regime of Jammeh. Family members and former colleagues are equally concerned about Mr. Njie's health.

We, on the other hand, are not only concerned but health, we are equally concerned about the physical integrity of the former Minister.  Mile II prisons is notorious for prisoner abuse that range from bad food to torture and poisoning of prisoners.  Mambury Njie entered the prison in relatively good health for man his age - the same age as Yaya Jammeh.

We expect the regime of Yaya Jammeh to release him on bail considering the flimsy charges leveled against Mambury Njie, one of the closest advisers of Jammeh who has been Jammeh's Finance Minister and his Ambassador to Taiwan (the most important diplomatic mission of the regime) among numerous other sensitive assignments.