Defence Strikes Blows in Liberia War Crimes Trial

FINLAND — The defence team in the trial of Gibril Massaquoi, the former RUF commander accused of committing war crimes in Liberia, has had some wins in the concluding weeks of the trial in Tampere, Finland. Since it resumed in Finland, after three months hearing testimonies in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the trial has narrowed to…

Witnesses Tell Court Massaquoi Killed Family

By Joaquin Sendolo with New Narratives MONROVIA, Liberia – The Finnish court hearing the war crimes case against former Revolutionary United Front commander Gibril Massaquoi heard from two witnesses on Wednesday who said they saw Massaquoi murder their relatives during the Liberian civil war. The witness, now 47, detailed the crimes he said he witnessed…

Finnish Court Visits Alleged Massaquoi War Crime Sites

VOINJAMA, Lofa County – The trials of alleged war criminals taking place in the US and Europe became very real for villagers in Lofa County last week as the judge in the war crimes trial of Gibril Massaquoi in Finland arrived with prosecutors and the defense lawyer to see firsthand the scenes of atrocities alleged to…

Prosecution Alleges Gibril Massaquoi Directed Witnesses in War Crimes Trial

TAMPERE, Finland – Prosecutors in the war crimes trial of Gibril Massaquoi alleged Friday that the defendant tried to influence witnesses in the case. State Prosecutor Tom Laitinen told presiding judge Juhani Paiho that a cleaner at the prison where Massaquoi was being held in pretrial detention found handwritten notes in the restroom of the…

Finland Begins Hearing of Sierra Leonean Accused of War Crimes in Liberia

TAMPERE, Finland – The trial of Gibril Massaquoi, a Sierra Leonean former rebel commander accused of committing war crimes in Liberia, began on Wednesday in the Finnish city of Tampere. By Saila Huusko, with New Narratives Massaquoi, 51, entered the Pirkanmaa District Court shortly after 10 am local time, wearing a gray pinstripe suit and a face…

 Prosecutor Pushes Court to Convict, Jail and Sanction Kosiah

BELLINZONA, Switzerland – Alieu Kosiah should be convicted of all the war crimes charges he faces, jailed for a maximum 20 years and then barred from entering Switzerland for 15 years, prosecutors said on Monday in their final argument four days to the end of the historic trial. Chief prosecutor Andreas Müller told the Swiss…

Court Hears Kosiah’s Defense Against ‘Liars’ and ‘Manipulators’

BELLINZONA, Switzerland – War crimes suspect Alieu Kosiah delivered a forceful rebuke to six plaintiffs who brought the war crimes case against him here in the Swiss Federal Criminal Court on Monday. He slammed the plaintiffs and their lawyers for “staging their testimonies” and “lying on him”.  Kosiah’s anger at being on trial here was focused…

Kosiah Sat Near a Bucket with Human Hearts, Court Hears

BELLINZONA, Switzerland – Alieu Kosiah sat near a bucket filled with human hearts in Foya, Lofa County in the mid-1990s, a man told the Swiss Federal Criminal Court prosecuting the former rebel commander on Friday. According to the man, the fifth of seven plaintiffs who have brought the war crimes case against Kosiah, another rebel named…

Kosiah Killed People “for Common” Plaintiff Tells War Crimes Trial

BELLINZONA, Switzerland – Alieu Kosiah killed a man for refusing his order to carry looted goods in the Kolahun region of Lofa County in 1993, a witness told the Swiss Federal Criminal Court prosecuting the former rebel commander on Thursday. Kosiah killed a man named Musa Kpandeh because he refused to transport looted generator parts, cocoa,…

New Narratives and Okay FM discuss NN’s investigation on the Kailando gas station built on wetlands and forestry disputes

Join OkFM host and New Narratives Fellow Varney Dukuly as he discusses forestry and wetlands challenges in Liberia with Bonathan Walaka, Secretary General of the National Union of Community Forest Bodies and former Mines Minister Eugene Shanonn plus New Narratives’ Anthony Stephens and Mae Azango. This story was a collaboration with New Narratives as part of our…

Govt Freezes Assets of Royal Gold CEO

Monrovia – The government, through the Ministry of Justice and the Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia, has secured a freezing order on accounts of the Chief Executive Officer at Royal Gold Trading Company INC. and his two Managers at 10 Liberian Banks. According to a court document in the possession of FrontPageAfrica, the government sought the…

Thomas Dismisses Ruling Against Him

It was one of the most shocking events of the Liberian civil war. In April 1900 troops with then-President Samuel Doe’s Special Anti-Terrorist Unit shot and hacked to death 600 people including babies taking refuge in Monrovia’s St Peters Lutheran Church. Images of the carnage were broadcast around the world. The massacre kicked off a…

Massaquoi Lawyer Confident of Acquittal in War Crimes Trial

MONROVIA, Liberia – The lawyer for accused war criminal Gibril Massaquoi’s says he is confident of his client will be acquitted. Speaking outside the court at the start of week two of the court’s unexpected return to Liberia, Kaarle Gummerus did not accept this reporter’s invitation to make a full-throated claim of Massaquoi’s innocence, but he…

Witness: Massaquoi Escaped Hours Before Arrest by Taylor

By Mae Azango Senior Justice Correspondent with New Narratives  MONROVIA, Liberia – A witness at the ongoing war crimes trial of ex-Sierra Leonean rebel leader Gibril Massaquoi has told the Finnish court hearing the case that then Liberian President Charles Taylor heard that Massaquoi was a spy and ordered his arrest. Massaquoi was given warning…

More Witnesses Put Massaquoi in Monrovia When Under UN-Witness Protection in Sierra Leone

Mae Azango Senior Justice correspondent with New Narratives MONROVIA, Liberia – The trial of Gibril Massaquoi has continued to focus on the central explosive question of whether the defendant escaped UN witness protection in Freetown in June-August 2003 to commit war crimes in neighboring Liberia. Massaquoi was under witness protection for his role informing on ex-combatants…