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 Pardoning a convicted pedophile
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9115 Posts

Posted - 24 Aug 2018 :  12:01:42  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unfortunately the Norwegian man in this topic is among those recently pardoned by the president.

President Barrow pardon 7 convicts

Friday, August 24, 2018

Acting under Section 82 of Gambia’s 1997 Constitution and on the advent of the Holy feast of Eid-ul-Adha (Tobaski), President Adama Barrow on 20th August exercised his powers of prerogative of mercy and granted pardon to four Gambians and three foreigners who were convicted and sentenced on various offences.

The pardoned persons are: Sulaiman Bah, Gambian; Alieu Njie, Senegalese; Fallou Ceesay, Senegalese; Gibbrill Fall, Gambian; Matarr Touray, Gambian; Matarr Sowe, Gambian and Svein Åge Sandåkar, Norwegian.

Related topic:
- Norwegian pedophile arrested in Gambia

- Nordmann (53) benådet etter åtte år i afrikansk fengsel

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone


9115 Posts

Posted - 24 Aug 2018 :  18:30:08  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An open letter by Njundu Drammeh

Cc: H.E President of The Gambia
H.E. Vice President of The Gambia
Attorney General and Minister of Justice
Solicitor General and Legal Secretary
Director, Dept of Social Welfare
Amie Bojang Sissoho

The Gambia where flowers bleed blood

From a Press Release dated 20th instant issued by the Ministry of Justice on prisoners who have enjoyed the prerogative of mercy, it is realised that one of them who is a Norwegian, Svein Åge Sandåker, is a convicted paedophile. He was found guilty of abusing about 6 children, the youngest victim was about 3 years at the time. Reports have it that Sandaker was previously convicted in Norway twice for sexually abusing minors and also had an incestuous relationship with his own son for which he was convicted in 2006.

In 2012, Sandaker was convicted to 3 years imprisonment and fined D600,000 in default to serve another 3 years. He was supposed to have completed his term in 2015, if he had paid the fine as well. I guess he wasn't released upon the completion of his 3 year jail term because he could not pay the fine. If that is the case, then Sandaker is due for release this year, in 2018. The granting of presidential pardon to a man whose sentence is or about to be finished beats all logic, all common sense. Without questioning the wisdom of a presidential "largess" like the prerogative of mercy, and some convicts will deserve it nonetheless, Mr. Sandaker is undeserving of any mercy, from man or God.

Why and how Mr. Sandaker's name made it into the list of those blessed with your mercy, such a dishonorable man wirh disreputable character whose only deserved place is in the hottest places of hell is indeed mind boggling? Is he "forgiven" through the prerogative of mercy or is going to be "handed over" to Norwegian authorities to answer to other alleged crimes committed against children in Norway, as seems to be the new story from the Ministry of Justice? If the latter reason is actually Sandaker's true state of affairs, then why did his name find itself on the list of those who have the mercy of the President?

Have the Norwegian authorities been notified of Sandaker's release from prison? Are they informed that our Government intends to "hand over" Sandaker to them, to face any possible charge that may be hanging over his head? Has Norway made any formal request to The Gambia regarding Sandaker's alleged offences against children in Norway? Is there any extradition treaty between The Gambia and Norway, especially with regards to crimes of sexual nature against children? Norway does have extraterritorial jurisdiction over such crimes but that would have come in handy if Sandaker had eluded arrest and fled to Norway?

Sexual abuse and exploitation have debilitating, long term effects on their victims. The road to recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration can be long, arduous and expensive. Knowing our child protection services and their difficulties, I doubt if these victims or survivors received the adequate psychosocial support necessary to aid their recovery. I doubt too if they receive any compensation from the perpetrator or the State. If Sandaker's fine was supposed to contribute towards the compensation, that hope was squashed in 2015 when it was apparent Sandaker won't be able to pay the fine. The onus is now on the State to ensure the victims are adequately supported for their recovery. It cannot betray this obligation.

This particular case of Sandaker, and few others I learned about, showed monumental gaps in our child protection system, especially our law enforcement and cooperation with Interpol and law enforcement agencies of other countries. How did a convicted paedophile from Norway enter the Gambia? Was information shared about him from Interpol or the Norwegian authorities to our? If yes, why was he allowed to enter the Gambia? If no, we need to up our games.

I learned though that it was the Norwegian authorities who tipped ours about Sandaker's lascivious ways with minors. The poor communication, coordination and information sharing tell me that many other convicted paedophiles have made their way into the Gambia. Some of them, like Sandaker, moved into communities, bought property, made themselves philanthropists and disappeared in the crowd. Through their sophisticated grooming processes and glib personalities, they buy everyone's silence. The trusting, gullible Gambian is the easy target.

Child Sex Tourism is a reality in The Gambia. While tourism is not solely responsible, sex tourists use tourism facilities, from home country to destination, to abuse children. We have done research in 2003 and 2013 which prove the existence and have been working with the Gambia Tourism Board to fight the menace. Anecdotal evidence show that child sex tourists avoid the hotels and move into our communities now which give them easy access to children.

The Government needs to come out and categorically denounce child sex tourism in The Gambia. It is promoting Destination Gambia but sidestepping the issue of Child Sex Tourism. Admitting its existence is half the solution. If we do not, it will come to destroy our name and reputation as a tourism destinatiom. Good tourists, who form the majority, will turn their back on us and we may never be able to regain our good name. A stitch in time saves nine.

While paedophiles should be shut off our country, the other bigger threat to our children are Gambians and others living in The Gambi who use their positions, power, authority, trust to sexually abuse and exploit. They often get shielded by those who are supposed to act on behalf of the victims. Even when they get arrested, they walk free the next day. If they make it to court, the cases are often thrown out or they get away with lighter sentence for lack of foolproof evidence. The poor victim is left unattended, uncared for, unsupported, without the necessary psychosocial care. She or he becomes a mere cog.

Mark Twain has advised us to look towards the future because that is where we are going to live our lives in. Unfortunately, the future is not what it is supposed to be. Lurked in the present are child sexual molesters and paedophiles who are bent on making that future terrible and horrific for our children, our future. They live in every society and country and groom families, children and even authorities to carry out their nefarious acts with children.

We can do more for our children; we have no excuse not to protect them from abuse and exploitation. The victim demands our support and understanding and justice. The perpetrator deserves our collective condemnation and damnation in hell.

Njundu Drammeh

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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9115 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2018 :  19:41:54  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hon Baa Tambadou, Minister for Justice Shedding light on the Svein case.

I am learning with utter dismay reports circulating on social media that I recommended to the President for the exercise of his prerogative of mercy on one Norwegian citizen convicted of child abuse in The Gambia.

I want to make clear that I was not aware of this matter neither did I make any such recommendation to the President. In fact, I am currently out of the country on the hajj in Saudi Arabia. This matter was not brought to my attention for advice and I have consistently taken a hard line position on homicide and sexual offences convicts as reflected in all previous pardons in which I have participated as a member of the Prerogative of Mercy Committee which also includes the Honourable Minister of Interior, the Inspector General of Police and a religious leader.

I therefore reiterate that I was not involved in any decision to recommend for pardon the said Norwegian citizen contrary to reports that I made the recommendation. Upon my return from the hajj, I will get to the bottom of this matter and find out how the MOJ came to be associated with the purported conflicting statements released on our twitter page.

Meanwhile, it is also disheartening to note that some people see this incident as an opportunity to attempt to further tarnish my reputation by associating this incident with a previous one involving my brother last year. I want to state that I am not my brother and I am not responsible for my brother’s actions as a private legal practitioner. I would like to be judged on my actions alone regarding my professional conduct and not constantly get associated with the actions of my brother who is a private legal practitioner.

I will not allow anyone with any kind of agenda whatsoever to distract me from my objective of establishing strong foundations for democratic practice, respect for human rights and upholding the rule of law in our country. The challenge is hard enough without the pettiness and personal attacks from some quarters albeit limited.

Ba Tambadou

Source: Lamdo Bundou Sey

Source: FB

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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9115 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2018 :  19:43:13  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Response by Sidi Sanneh

The Attorney General is the Chairman of the Prerogative of Mercy Committee according to the Constitution

The Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, Section 82 Sub - Section (1) On Prerogative of Mercy the president may, after consulting the Committee established by subsection (2)- (a) grant any person convicted of any offense a pardon either free or subject to lawful condition; (b) grant any person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for any offence; (c) substitute a less severe form of punishment imposed on any punishment imposed on any person for any offense; (d) remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed on any person for such an offense or any penalty otherwise due to the State on account of any offence.

- Section (2) There shall be a Committee on the exercise of the prerogative of mercy consisting of the Attorney General and three persons appointed by the president subject to confirmation by the National Assembly.

Membership of the Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy in The Gambia as provisioned in the Constitution is composed of the Attorney General as chairman and three other members appointed by the President of the Republic. If the Attorney General is now claiming ignorance of the decision to include Svein Aage Sandaker, a convicted pedophile, in the list of those pardoned and by law he chairs the Committee, the responsibility lies squarely on his shoulders, the outcome of the promised inquiry notwithstanding.

I stand by my blog post - every word of it - on the issue that he must resign or be sacked for the reasons cited therein.

Who are the three other Members of the Committee. We need to know.

Sidi Sanneh — with Sulayman Ben Suwareh and 9 others.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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9115 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2018 :  19:44:16  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Madi Jobarteh

Baa did not clarify!

Baa just confirmed poor leadership and corruption and abuse of office in his Ministry for which his reputation is being threatened.

It is when he immediately exposes the perpetrators of this shameful pardon and ensure accountability that we will determine if he has indeed clarified and saved his reputation!

Until then the ball is in his court.

We the citizens must ensure that there is accountability and it is seen to be done ASAP!

Similarly the members of the pardon committee that Baa named must be held to account about why and how they came to decide on this pedophile!

In that same vein the Office of the President must be held to account for how they could receive the name of this pedophile and continue to let it be in that list without objection or removal.

Therefore the President must also answer about what he knew and what he did not know and who gave them the information!

Overall this pedophile affair glaringly exposes one more time the grossly inefficient and unenlightened leadership in this government!


A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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9115 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2018 :  15:31:24  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Madi Jobarteh

My Advice to Baa

Resign If...

If indeed Pres. Barrow knew that you were not in town and did not take part in the decision to pardon a pedophile and still went ahead to approve the decision to pardon this pedophile then resign!

Don’t be part of a corrupt and inefficient and incompetent system that only disrespects your dignity and undermines your authority and abuses the rule of law.

We recall during the days of Yaya Jammeh when that Despot sacked the deputy British High Commissioner when Foreign Minister Sedat Jobe was out of town. Upon getting the news Mr. Jobe rightly resigned because of the blatant disrespect to him and disregard of due protocols.

In this matter you face the same situation and common sense requires that you consider first and foremost the supreme interests of The Gambia in the way this matter was addressed.

For example has the rule of law being followed? Has due regard being given to the procedures? Have you been accorded due respect and recognition to your position as the Attorney General and the substantive member of this committee on prerogative of mercy?

In the first place Section 82 of our Constitution requires the setting up of this committee to purposefully advice the president. Subsection 2 states,

“There shall be a Committee on the exercise of the prerogative of mercy consisting of the Attorney General and three other persons appointed by the president subject to confirmation by the National Assembly.”

Since January 2017 I have not heard or seen a public information from State House that stated that this section was applied. Who are the other three persons that should have been appointed by the president?

In light of the foregoing your resignation would be in place which will not only sanctify your reputation and dignity but it will also, and more importantly protect the rule of law and strengthen accountability hence serve the supreme interest of The Gambia.

Therefore find out what the president knew and why he took the decision to pardon this pedophile to determine if you should resign or stay!

Remember you have a duty, as a citizen not to even mention the fact you are a public officer to defend the rule of law, demand accountability and uphold sacred principles!

For The Gambia Our Homeland

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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9115 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2018 :  20:24:23  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote

‘Pardoning of Norwegian pedophile reversed’—Interior Minister

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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9115 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2018 :  14:33:30  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gov’t reverses Norwegian pedophile pardon

The Point: Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Svein Åge Sandåker, the Norwegian pedophile who was part of the seven convicts pardoned by President Barrow a day before Eid-ul Adha prayer has had his pardon reversed, The Point can reveal.

The pardon granted to the Norwegian pedophile caused huge outcry within and outside the country more especially on social media.

When contacted, the Interior Minister Ebrima Mballow, confirmed the development to our reporter. He said the decision of pardoning the convicted Norwegian pedophile had been earlier reversed.

The spokesperson of The Gambia Prison Service, Momodou Lamin Ceesay, said the Norwegian pedophile was not back at the State Central Prison in Mile II at the time of closing from work.

It could be recalled that, Svein Åge Sandåker, was handed a three-year jail term and ordered to pay a D600,000 fine in 2012 for abusing six children; the youngest victim was about three years at the time. However, his jail term was extended for another three-years following his inability to pay the court fine.

Author: Momodou Jawo

Check records before pardoning

The Point Editorial: Tuesday, August 28, 2018

It would have been a terrible mistake had SveinÅge Sandåker, the Norwegian pedophile returned to his home country after benefitting from a Presidential pardon.

Mr. Sandåker, a man of such a toxic legacy and horrible record of child abuse will now stay to finish his jail term amidst public outcry over his pardoning.

He was part of the seven convicts pardoned by President Barrow a day before EidulAdha prayer only to have his pardon reversed. But first, who should be blamed for his pardoning? – Is it the president or the committee that recommended his pardoning? Even if these questions remain unanswered, it would have been a serious issue for the victims and those decent Gambians who are ready to die in protecting our values.

The Gambia is a secular state – with different religions operating at their free wills. Our cultures and values are diverse but interlinked and we are bound to protect them to death.

Mr. Sandåker had committed a crime or even waged a war against our values that have been so long protected by ordinary brave men and women of such a decent country. So it would have been a serious mistake had he left the country without government retracting its decision of pardoning him.

One thing for sure is that his victims and those that are in defence of our values would never forgive Mr. Sandåker.

He was sentenced to a three-year jail term and ordered to pay a D600,000 fine in 2012 for abusing six children. The youngest victim was about three years at the time. But considering the magnitude of the offence and the sentence passed onto Mr. Sandåker, one could only conclude that he was very lucky even after it was extended to another three years for his inability to pay his fine.

We therefore recommend that due diligence must be done to the record of prisoners before benefiting from any presidential pardon.

“Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons...”

Travis Bradberry

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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United Kingdom
125 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2018 :  13:51:19  Show Profile Send rassimian a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow big error there. So who is responsible for the mistake? These things happen in UK and probably elsewhere. It will be interesting to see whether any and whose heads roll.
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