Liberian rebel sentenced in Switzerland for war crimes, cannibalism

The case was likewise Switzerland’s very first war criminal activities trial in a civilian court. It included 46-year-old Alieu Kosiah who passed the nom de guerre “bluff boy” in the rebel faction ULIMO that combated previous President Charles Taylor’s army in the 1990s.

Kosiah dealt with 25 charges consisting of one where he was implicated of consuming pieces of a male’s heart. He was founded guilty of that and all however 4 of the other counts, files from the Swiss Federal Court revealed.

He was apprehended in 2014 in Switzerland, where he had actually been living as a long-term local. A 2011 Swiss law enables prosecution for major criminal activities devoted anywhere, under the concept of universal jurisdiction.

A complainant in the event who affirmed that Kosiah bought his sibling’s murder prompted other Liberians to come forward as witnesses and protect more convictions.

“If you set an example, the other guys will be afraid,” he stated in a declaration through the NGO Civitas Maxima that represented him. He asked not to be called in media reports for worry of reprisals.

Liberia has actually disregarded pressure to prosecute criminal activities from its back-to-back wars in between 1989-2003, in which countless kid soldiers ended up being bound up in power tussles intensified by ethnic competition.

Human Rights View called Friday’s sentencing a “landmark.”

“Switzerland’s efforts on this case should help mobilize wider accountability in Liberia as this shows that these crimes can be prosecuted. I see this as an opportunity,” the group’s Elise Keppler stated.

Deportation, payment

Activists in the Liberian capital Monrovia commemorated the decision. “This will serve as a deterrent for others around the world. I think justice has taken its course,” stated Dan Sayeh, a civil society advocate.

Kosiah had actually rejected all the charges and informed the court he was a small when initially hired into the dispute. His legal representative did not instantly react to an emailed ask for talk about the sentence.

Kosiah was cleared on Friday of tried murder of a civilian, accessory to the murder of a civilian, an order to loot and recruitment of a kid soldier.

The court stated that the 20-year sentence was the optimum it was enabled to offer under Swiss law.

“No mitigating circumstances were taken into account in the sentencing. A deportation from Switzerland was also ordered for a period of 15 years,” it stated. Kosiah was likewise bought to pay payment to 7 complainants, it included.

It was not instantly clear when the deportation would take place. The approximately 6-1/2 years that Kosiah has actually currently served in pre-trial detention will count towards the sentence, the court documents revealed.

Charles Taylor was sentenced for war criminal activities in 2012, however just for acts in surrounding Sierra Leone. His kid, Chuckie, was sentenced for abuse in Liberia by a US court in 2009.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.