Liberia War Crimes: Rebel Commander on Trial in Finland


The trial of a suspected warlord accused of atrocities during Liberia's civil war has started in Finland. Prosecutors say Gibril Ealoghima Massaquoi, from Sierra Leone, was a senior member of a rebel group that fought in Liberia from 1999 to 2003. He is accused of killing civilians and soldiers who had just been disarmed, rape, and recruiting child soldiers. He denies the charges and says he was taking part in peace talks at the time of the alleged crimes.

The court will move to Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone in the next few weeks to hear testimony from up to 80 witnesses and visit sites where the atrocities are alleged to have been carried out under Mr. Massaquoi’s orders. This makes it the first such case to be partly held on Liberian soil, although Mr. Massaquoi will remain in Finland.

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