The Attorney General and Minister of Justice in a Press Release to Media Houses, wishes to inform the general public, of the appointment of Mr Essa M. Faal as Lead Counsel to the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). The release indicate that in his capacity as Lead Counsel, Mr Faal will be responsible for guiding the investigations of the TRRC, assist the Commissioners, and lead witnesses before the TRRC, on behalf of Commissioners.

The release indicate that Mr. Essa M. Faal has extensive knowledge and experience in International Criminal and Human Rights Law; that he started his legal career as a State Counsel at the Ministry of Justice in The Gambia in 1994; that during this period, he served as Counsel to the Commission of Inquiry into the Financial Activities of Public Corporations. The release further indicated that at the end of 1997, Mr. Faal was appointed as First Secretary and later promoted to Counsellor for Legal Affairs, at the Gambia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, to help the Gambia’s team at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

In January 2000, the release indicate that Mr. Faal was appointed by the United Nations as a Judicial Affairs Officer and deployed to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor; that in that capacity, he contributed significantly in the reorganization and re-establishment of the justice sector in East Timor; that in 2002, he was promoted to the post of Acting Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes and later moved to the post of Chief of Prosecutions.

The Press Release continued: ‘‘In January 2005, Mr Faal joined the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), based in Rome where he, among other things, designed, supervised and directed the implementation of good governance and justice sector reform programmes for developing countries around the world.

In January 2006, Mr. Faal was appointed by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to head the complex investigations into the Darfur situation in which 300,000 Africans were allegedly killed. Mr Faal successfully led the investigations that culminated in the indictment and issuance of warrants of arrest against senior members of the Sudanese Government, for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity at the time. Soon thereafter, Mr Faal was appointed to the position of Senior Trial Lawyer/Lead Prosecuting Counsel for the Darfur cases. Between March 2011 and September 2016, Mr Faal successfully served as Co-Lead Defence Counsel in ICC cases of the Prosecutor vs. Francis Kirimi Muthaura (ex-Secretary General of Kenya, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta (President of Kenya), Mr. William Ruto (Deputy President of Kenya), and General Muhammed Hussein Ali (ex.Chief of Police of Kenya). Currently, Mr Faal serves as Counsel for Charles Ghankay Taylor (former President of Liberia), before the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone and also as Counsel for Saif Al Islam Gadafi, at the ICC. He is also Counsel for victims in the Darfur cases and victims for extra judicial killings in the Philippines, before the ICC.’’

The release concludes that with such extensive experience in dealing with mass atrocity crimes in different capacities, and the extensive insight he has gained in handling victims of such crimes, Mr Faal’s appointment will significantly enrich the TRRC process in The Gambia.

5 September 2018.

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