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Barrow becomes first African president to pardon a serial paedophile
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Barrow becomes first African president to pardon a serial paedophile

President Adama Barrow has become the first African president to pardon a convicted serial paedophile.

The Gambian leader, who wants to be the new darling of the West, ordered the release of Svein Agesandakar on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.

The Norwegian was arrested in 2010 and later sentenced to jail after he was found with six children in his bedroom.

In a statement, the State House said President Barrow acting under section 82 of the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, and on the advent of the holy feast of Eid al-Adha, exercised his powers of Prerogative of Mercy and granted pardon to Svein and six other convicted prisoners.

But his magnanimous gesture backfired.

One Benny Ek-Williamsson, a Swedish-Gambian, wrote on Facebook: “This is bullshit! Why pardon a Norwegian paedophile who has repeatedly committed the same crimes over and over again (the youngest child was 3 years old). The hands of the government are stained with the future crimes he commits against children!!!”

Madi Jorboateh, the program manager at the Association of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Gambia (TANGO), said: “The pardon for Svein must be reversed. The Department of Social Welfare and Child Protection Alliance and SOS Gambia and FLAG among other CSOs must make representation to the Office of the President to stop this travesty.”

However, Svein’s lawyer, Sigurd Klomsæt, who once visited him in prison, could neither confirm nor deny whether he was pardoned by the Gambian president.

 

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