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Ousman Sonko: Gambian ex-minister to go on trial in Switzerland for murder

A Gambian former interior minister is set to go on trial in Switzerland, charged with crimes against humanity.

Ousman Sonko fled there in 2016, shortly before Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, accused of heading a repressive regime, lost power.

Mr Sonko, 54, was arrested after non-governmental organisations presented evidence of his alleged involvement in killings, rape and torture.

But his lawyer said that he was not responsible for what happened.

Philippe Currat is quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that The Gambia's National Intelligence Agency, which was "never... under [his] authority" was behind the alleged crimes.

Switzerland is trying the case under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows countries to prosecute people on their territory, even though the events may have taken place elsewhere.

Mr Sonko is the highest-ranking government official ever to be prosecuted under this principle in Europe.


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