Liberian in French court for crimes against humanity

A former commander of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), only identified as Saturday T., was charged in France on Wednesday for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity committed during the First Liberian Civil War (1989-1996).

The NPFL, led by Charles Taylor during the First Liberian Civil War, was responsible for at least 63,800 documented human rights violations, according to the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report.

Through its lawyers Simon Foreman and Sabrina Delattre, Civitas Maxima filed a complaint in France in May 2018 against Saturday T. for his alleged commission or command of multiple crimes against humanity.

As anyone involved in a criminal process, Saturday T. is presumed innocent at this stage – this investigation phase is designed to establish the facts.

This is the eleventh publicized criminal case on which Civitas Maxima and its sister organization in Liberia, the Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP), have collaborated in one way or another with national authorities, in six different countries, over two continents.

Since 2012, Civitas Maxima has been working with the Monrovia-based GJRP to document crimes committed during the wars by all warring factions and find avenues for accountability for Liberian victims.

This charge follows that of Kunti Kamara in 2018, who has since been found guilty of complicity in crimes against humanity and the commission of simple and aggravated acts of torture and barbarism.

Kunti Kamara was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Paris ‘Cour d’assises’ in November last year.

There has yet to be domestic accountability in Liberia for the crimes committed during its back-to-back civil wars, which in 14 years claimed over 150 000 lives, most of them civilian.