| DAKAR, March 10
DAKAR, March 10 Gambia's government will launch
an investigation into the finances of former long-standing
president Yahya Jammeh including the personal use of a charity
bank account revealed by Reuters last month, the justice
minister said on Friday.
The government of President Adama Barrow, who beat Jammeh in
a December election before Jammeh fled into exile, has accused
the authoritarian former ruler of siphoning off tens of millions
of dollars in public money into various bank accounts not in his
name but from which he withdrew cash, including at the central
Reuters found that in 2012 and 2013 over $8 million from a
bank account in the name of the Jammeh Foundation for Peace, a
charity founded by Jammeh, flowed to Jammeh himself, not to
foundation projects. Over half the money was withdrawn in cash.
Reuters was unable to determine whether donors intended to
support the Jammeh Foundation for Peace, or if donors, charity
officials and the bank were aware that Jammeh was using the
account to build his personal wealth. Reuters could not
determine how the withdrawn money was spent.
"We are setting up a commission of inquiry looking into
Jammeh's financial and business related activity," Justice
Minister Aboubacarr Tambadou told Reuters. "Absolutely we will
look into the Jammeh Foundation as part of this inquiry."
The inquiry will begin in the next few months and will be
carried out in conjunction with the finance ministry, Tambadou
Tambadou said that the donations into the foundation
account, which according to bank statements included payments
from Euro African Group and Selectra AG, will be investigated.
"We are going to look at every source of funding that Jammeh
had and every withdrawal that Jammeh made. We will look at these
donors and the circumstances under which these payments were
made to the foundation," he said.
The financial probe is part of a wider call for justice
following Jammeh's 22-year rule, which ended in chaos in January
when international forces descended on the capital Banjul,
leading Jammeh to step down and seek exile in Equatorial Guinea.
He has been accused of widespread human rights abuses,
including detention, torture and "disappearance" of opposition
politicians, journalists and military personnel, rights groups
(Editing by Andrew Roche)