New charge for Gambian ex chief cop

2010-05-19 17:08

Banjul - Gambia's justice ministry on Wednesday accused the former chief of police and three prison officers of armed robbery, adding to a host of earlier charges.

Ensa Badjie - already on trial for 51 criminal charges including drug trafficking, corruption and theft - will appear before a special criminal court on Friday to answer to the new accusation, the ministry said.

The latest allegation accuses him of conspiring with prison officers "to break into and rob shops, banks and supermarkets between the year 2007 and 2009 and thereby committed an offence," it said in a statement.

"Under the new indictment, Ensa Badjie and three others variously face a fresh 17-count charge including robbery with violence, among others," Richard Chenge, country director of public prosecution, told AFP.

A range of high-profile officials in Gambia are under arrest or facing various criminal charges.

Former army chief Langtombong Tamba, former intelligence chief Lamin Badjie and the former deputy chief of police Modou Gaye are on trial for treason, accused of plotting to overthrow President Yayha Jammeh last year.

Jammeh, an outspoken military officer and former wrestler, is said to rule the tiny country, nestled within Senegal, with an iron fist, repressing criticism and brushing off concerns over human rights abuses.