“There is nothing more dangerous and criminal like the commission of war crimes itself, than profiteering on the backs of the victims of war crimes in Liberia; Without justice, Liberia will never be peaceful again and the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia is the way to go...”,Cllr Jerome J. Verdier, Executive Director of IJG and Chairman of the Erstwhile TRC of Liberia said in a statement released over the weekend. Finland War Crimes Trial
–A Distraction The statement released out of the US Capitol in Washington DC went on to describe the ongoing effort to prosecute, Gibril Massaquoi, exRUF rebel commander from Sierra Leone based on a crescendo of lies and unfounded allegations of war crimes committed in Liberia as falsely claimed by Hassan Bility and cohorts in Switzerland is a serious distraction from the quests of all Liberians for justice for Liberian victims of the war through the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia. The statement went further to condemn all of those in and out of the Government of Liberia (GOL) who are maneuvering and manipulating behind the scenes and working with these profiteers and some international actors to stage manage war crimes court advocacy in Liberia by a process that will remotely establish a court outside of Liberia to deny Liberians of true justice.
The IJG position, the statement said, remains firm and settled for the establishment of the War Crimes Court for Liberian victims in Liberia and not in Finland or any other remote venues, consistent with the Recommendations of the TRC of Liberia and the Resolution of the United States Congress (HR1055) sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith and as recently buttressed by the Deputy Speaker of the Liberian House of Representative, Cllr J. Fonati Koffaas the surest guarantee that those innocently accused will be set free and the guilty once will face justice and suffer punishment.
Witness Protection is important to Criminal Prosecution. Verdier said in the statement that witness protection is important to any successful war crimes prosecution because the protected witness is an insider who gives detailed inside and reliable information that the prosecution would not have otherwise acquired without the cooperation of the protected witness. The statement said that Gibril Massaquoi is a protected witness under the Witness Protection Program of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) which successfully prosecuted former Liberia Former President Charles Taylor on War Crimes and related serious charges to protect human rights, save lives, guarantee justice, and restore peace to the entire West African sub region and Africa as a whole.
“To falsely accuse such a witness, to recruit and bribe paid agents to produce false testimonies against such a witness who committed no crimes in Liberia for pecuniary benefits on the backs of Liberian victims who are still yearning for justice is the worst thing anyone can do and doing so in the name of advocating for justice is worse than the war crimes we have put our lives on the line to prosecute. It is a moral and deadly sin against the nation and people of Liberia...” Verdier emphasized.
Such an immoral stance sets a bad precedence for justice in Liberia and seeks to undermine the witness protection program for Liberia, ahead of the establishment of the War & Economic Crimes Court for Liberia, which Verdier, as a lawyer and advocate assured, “WILLNEVER HAPPEN”, protected witnesses in Liberia will forever remain protected and the IJG will spare no efforts, in protecting the protected status of Mr. Gibril Massaquoi, a former rebel fighter and patriotic citizen of the Republic of Sierra Leone who did not fight war in Liberia, had no reason to fight war in Liberia and committed no atrocities in Liberia as alleged by his tormentors in the Finland Jurisdiction.
TRC Extensive Work in Liberia
The statement went on to say that the TRC of Liberia combed the entire territory of Liberia for five (5) years doing its work in Liberia and documented testimonies, investigated and documented war crimes, serious international human rights and humanitarian law violations committed in Liberia and not even once, was Gibril Massaquoi identified or alleged to be a perpetrator of violence or crimes in Lofa County or any other parts of Liberia; the TRC conducted hearings and documented statements from witnesses and victims throughout Lofa County and not once was the name Gibril Massaquoi ever mentioned.
The statement wondered “...and find sit ludicrous that 12years after the close of the TRC work in Liberia and 18years following the end of the war in Liberia that witnesses will now prop up in numbers against a single individual (who happens to be a protected witness the Special Court for Sierra Leone) who is not in any way identified in the over 70 actors in Liberia from RUF and Sierra Leone named in the TRC of Liberia Report.
So, Mr. Massaquoi was the lone ranger who crossed over to Liberian territory in a solo effort just to commit war crimes in Liberia, against the people of Liberia for very personal reasons by his one-man army–ridiculous! The IJG statement said. There were RUF Sierra Leonean across in Liberia –not Gibril Massaquoi. The IJG statement went on to further averred that the TRC of Liberia documented over 100 foreign mercenaries and rebel fighters in Liberia from different countries including fighters of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of the Republic of Sierra Leone and not once did the name of Gibril Massaquoi pop up.
Moreover, the statement said based on the work of the TRC, it was realized that most of those fighters from Sierra Leone RUF who crossed over into Liberia did so for transactional purposes, to consult with former President Taylor and receive operational instructions, frontline details and information as well as logistics and equipment, included frontline RUF rebel commanders like Samuel Sam Bockarie. Many War Crimes Perpetrators in Liberia are yet to be Prosecuted.
There are numerous, hundreds, of war crimes perpetrators moving around freely in Liberia, without remorse or prosecution and if Mr. Hassan Bility or his Swiss –based benefactor in the name of Civitas Maxima desires to advance the campaign for War Crimes Court in Liberia, they will do well focusing Liberian perpetrators and war criminals than to target a protected witness of the Sierra Leonean Court who did not commit war crimes in Liberia but aided the successful Prosecution of President Charles Taylor by the Sierra Leone Special Court which brought relieve to Liberia and peace to the entire West African sub region just as Mr. Hassan Bility, the profiteer-in-chief, himself.
Hassan Bility -a witness against President Taylor
Mr. Hassan Bility of ULIMO K waring Faction in Liberia was a prosecution witness against President Taylor just as Gibri lMassaquoi of the RUF waring Faction in Sierra Leone was. And his benefactor Mr. Alain Werner of Civitas Maxima worked with the prosecution. So, both have full knowledge, were privy to SCSL information and have reasons to know that Mr. Gibril Massaquoi is a subject of the Witness Protection Program of the SCSL. Whatever their motivations to concoct allegorical tales against Mr. Massaquoi to build up and support trump up charges against him to destroy his life for things he did not do, undermine the quest for the establishment of the War & Economic Crimes Court in Liberia, and baffle justice for victims in Liberia is a very unsavory and shameful act which must not go unpunished. This is “malicious prosecution” just as it was in the case of Mrs. Agnes Reeves Taylor, which warrants legal redress. In his poignant testimony, Mr. Bility went at lengths to expose the Taylor Rebel Organization as he knew it to be a criminal enterprise with a thirst for power beyond Liberia, which must be stopped.
Alain Werner –Hassan Bility Conspiracy
Alain Werner, Hassan Bility’s handler was a member of the SCSL prosecution team with privileged access and knowledge of the confidential documentations of the SCSL which included information and names of protected witnesses associated with the SCSL. Mr. Werner has criminally used this privileged information to raise money for the personal benefits of himself and Mr. Hassan Bility. Trading confidential information for profits is an unconscionable act of betrayal and criminal conspiracy, which violates every tenet of honesty and professional integrity expected of a lawyer in any standing whether of public interest or not.
He engages Mr. Hassan Bility and his outfit in Monrovia(Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP) with whom he has had a prior relationship, to do the foot work. Hassan Bility–A ULIMO K Operative and profiteer Mr. Hassan Bility’s task was to enlist and contract witnesses, tutor them and prepare them for trial to lie against GibrilMassaquoi, linking him to war crimes in Liberia to create the false impression that they are vigorously pursuing war crimes prosecutions in Liberia as a way to bounce back from the Agnes Reeves Taylor war crimes trial fiasco; thus portraying themselves as sincere advocates for war crimes trial in Liberia, while raise thousands of united states dollars to line up their pockets in ill-gotten profits on the backs of innocent victims in Liberia still crying for justice.
Bility’s pedigree of Rights and Justice Advocacy Mr. Bility came to prominence in 2002 when he was arrested by former President Charles Taylor for being a member of the ULIMO K warring faction and for operating a ULIMO K sleeper cell in Liberia. Prior to his arrest, word had gone around that he was a sympathizer of ULIMO K without a clear assertion of his role. The IJG Executive Director asserts that he was in Monrovia in 2002 when Mr. Bility was busted, and his arrest did not come as a surprise. While he “condemned Mr. Taylor for his rough handling of Mr. Bility without trial for a protracted period and torturing him whilst in Taylor Government’s custody, the allegations against Mr. Bility were not without merits...” Cllr Verdier said.
Continuing, the IJG Statement recollected that Mr. Bility rose to prominence within the ranks of the ULIMO K Faction when he and one other in person of Mr. Abdullai Kiatamba of Minnesota, USA were joint organizers and recruiters, idealogues and theorist, zealots, and militants for the YouthWing of the ULIMO K warring factional Political Party, All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP), which promoted and advocated a sectarian Mandingo cause.
Gibril Massaquoi Trial -a faux pas The false and fake trial of Gibril Massaquoi is a faux pas for war crimes advocacy in Liberia. It is a vicious attempt to dilute, undermine and destroy our advocacy for the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia. We reserve our harshest condemnation for Mr. Hassan Bility and his cohort, Mr. Alain Werner for undermining war crimes court struggle in Liberia and the witness protection program which is fundamental program of a successful criminal prosecution in international and national criminal jurisdictions, the world over. The IJG calls on the Finnish justice system to respect and grant due recognition to the time-honored principles of the Witness Protection Program and dismiss the baseless and profit -seeking prosecution of Gibril Massaquoi which has no basis in seeking justice but rather making profits on the backs of war victims in Liberia.
Agnes Taylor’s Malicious Prosecution-The statement concluded by declaring that the operations of Mr. Bility and his Global Justice outfit operates in a manner shrouded in secrecy to mimic the work of the TRC in Liberia capitalizing on TRC of Liberia investigations and documentations to build its case in a rather unscrupulous manner just for profit. The IJG says the GJRP case against Mrs. Agnes Reeves Taylor is typical and was based upon a TRC witness’s statements or testimony against Mrs. Taylor and not an independent investigation by the GJRP which lacks the training and capacity to launch a full-scale war crimes investigation and documentation program.
The GJRP of Mr. Bility with the backing of Mr. Alain Werner, takes leads from the TRC of Liberia documentation, fabricates witnesses and incidences to build a case against potential war crimes culprits. They used a TRC account of the testimony against Mrs. Agnes Reeves Taylor and manufactured evidence to support the claim. The TRC could not corroborate the witness’ testimony (which was used by Bility and Werner against Mrs. Taylor) during its intensive investigations and for that reason declined to use it as a count of human rights violation or war crimes against her.
Liberia must not be a haven for War Crimes Perpetrators- As part of calls by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of The Republic of Liberia for putting together human and physical infrastructure towards the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia, the IJG is declaring that it will continue campaigning to ensure that Liberia will no longer continue to be a haven for war crimes perpetrator and serious violators of human rights and crimes against humanity which will eventually see Liberia espousing a “universal jurisdiction” status where war crimes perpetrators and perpetrators of serious human rights violations and crimes against humanity will find no refuge from justice.