Lawmakers Pass Prohibition of Torture, Legal, Mutual Assistance Bills 2023

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By: Kebba AF Touray

Gambian Lawmakers have passed two bills entitled “Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Bill 2023 and “Legal Mutual Assistance Bill 2023”, on Monday 27th and yesterday Tuesday 28th March 2023, respectively. The “Legal Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill” which was introduced at the National Assembly in 2019, was debated on and committed to the NA Committee on Human Rights and Constitutional Matters for further scrutiny and report on findings to the plenary.

The Attorney General and Office of the Clerk of the Assembly, work together and printed the amended version of the bill for Members’ perusal.

Former Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou, while tabling the Bill before Members, said it covers assistance in relation to the taking of evidence; production of documents; search and seizure; custody and immunity.

“The Bill will help improve the prevention of investigation and prosecution of crime through cooperation and mutual assistance in criminal matters, and it will also cover arrangements for persons to give evidence and sections dealing with custody of persons in transit. It also includes a provision that deals with the proceeds of crime,” the Attorney General said.

The Member for Wuli East Hon. Suwaibou Touray during the debate, seconded the motion, and said once adopted, the Bill will help control cross border crimes and as well enhance judicial cooperation with Gambia’s neighbors.