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Travel Guides – Liberian convicted of war crimes in Swiss court

Rebels loyal to warlord Charles Taylor of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) take position behind a truck 30 May 1990

Around 250,000 folks have been killed in Liberia’s two civil wars

Alieu Kosiah has been discovered responsible of war crimes in a Swiss court, turning into the primary Liberian to be convicted over the nation’s civil war.

He was sentenced to twenty years for crimes together with homicide and rape.

Around 250,000 folks have been killed in Liberia’s two conflicts between 1989 and 2003, and plenty of 1000’s extra fled.

Switzerland recognises the precept of common justice, that means suspects accused of excessive-profile crimes elsewhere might be tried in its courts.

The trial was the primary underneath a 2011 Swiss legislation that permits prosecution for war crimes dedicated anyplace in the world. It additionally marked the primary time war crimes prices have been heard by a Swiss civilian court.

Kosiah, 46, was a former insurgent commander, who fled to Switzerland earlier than being arrested there in 2014.

The 20-yr sentence consists of the six years he has already served in detention.

He was detained after a civil rights group, Civitas Maxima, offered the Swiss lawyer normal with proof of his involvement in war crimes, together with the deliberate killing of civilians, sexual violence, abuse of corpses and acts of cannibalism.

The court in the southern Swiss metropolis of Bellinzona discovered him responsible of 21 out of the 25 prices that he initially confronted. These included:

The crimes occurred whereas he was preventing with Alhaji Kromah’s United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy insurgent group in opposition to Charles Taylor’s troops in the distant Lofa County in the Nineteen Nineties.

Liberia endured two bouts of brutal preventing from 1989 to 1997, after which Taylor turned president, and 1999 to 2003.

Before Kosiah’s responsible verdict, no Liberian had ever been convicted of crimes dedicated in the course of the battle. Taylor was, nevertheless, convicted in 2012 of committing war crimes in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

Story continues

He is serving his 50-yr sentence in a jail in the UK.

His son “Chuckie” Taylor was sentenced to 97 years in jail in a US federal court in 2009 for torturing and killing folks whereas he was the top of Liberia’s anti-terrorist providers.

Ex-warlord Mohammed “Jungle Jabbah” Jabateh has been jailed for 30 years in the US for mendacity about his previous as a frontrunner of a pressure that carried out a number of murders and acts of cannibalism.

And Sierra Leonean Gibril Ealoghima Massaquoi is at the moment on trial in Finland for alleged crimes dedicated in Liberia.

Liberia has failed to carry war crimes trials as a result of of a scarcity of a political will, says BBC Liberia reporter Jonathan Paye-Layleh.

A publish-war fact fee did identify individuals who could possibly be prosecuted, however as some have held key authorities positions a particular court has by no means been established.

Liberia’s civil war:

Charles Taylor in 1990

Charles Taylor led the rebel in 1989 and went on to be president

  • Liberia endured two bouts of brutal preventing in 1989-1997 and 1999-2003

  • Charles Taylor led an rebellion in opposition to President Samuel Doe, who himself had taken energy in a coup in 1980

  • Doe was executed in 1990 by a insurgent group led by Prince Johnson

  • Some 250,000 folks have been killed in the preventing general

  • Thousands extra have been mutilated and raped

  • Taylor was elected president in 1997 after a peace deal

  • The war was reignited in 1999 when two new insurgent teams emerged

  • Taylor stepped down and went into exile forward of a peace deal in 2003

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