Ousman Sonko, who fled the country after he had fallen out with the former President Yahya Jammeh, was arrested by Swiss police near the capital Berne, Berner Zeitung reported.
The Gambia’s longest serving Interior Minister in Yahya Jammeh’s government lived in an asylum shelter near Berne for two months before his arrest.
Sonko’s arrest followed a complaint filed by Ong Trial International filed on January 25th. The group wants rapid proceedings against Mr. Sonko for torture.
Since the crimes of the Jammeh government have never been tried, the group believes Sonko’s case will send a strong message of hope to victims. This is essential at a time when the Gambia prepares for a democratic transition.
Ousman Sonko was dismissed in September 2016 after he had fled to Senegal for safety. He flew to Spain then Sweden where his asylum application was rejected. Sonko was deported to Spain. He had applied for asylum in Switzerland shortly after he entered the country on November 10th last year.
Sonko, who had been the minister of Interior between 2006 and 2016, has been accused of conspiring with Yahya Jammeh to disappear without trace, torture and extra-judicially kill innocent people.