The case was additionally Switzerland’s first struggle crimes trial in a civilian court docket. It concerned 46-year-old Alieu Kosiah who glided by the nom de guerre “bluff boy” within the insurgent faction ULIMO that fought former President Charles Taylor’s military within the Nineteen Nineties.
Kosiah confronted 25 expenses together with one the place he was accused of consuming slices of a person’s coronary heart. He was convicted of that and all however 4 of the opposite counts, paperwork from the Swiss Federal Courtroom confirmed.
He was arrested in 2014 in Switzerland, the place he had been dwelling as a everlasting resident. A 2011 Swiss regulation permits prosecution for critical crimes dedicated wherever, beneath the precept of common jurisdiction.
A plaintiff within the case who testified that Kosiah ordered his brother’s homicide urged different Liberians to return ahead as witnesses and safe extra convictions.
“In the event you set an instance, the opposite guys shall be afraid,” he stated in an announcement by way of the NGO Civitas Maxima that represented him. He requested to not be named in media studies for concern of reprisals.
Liberia has ignored strain to prosecute crimes from its back-to-back wars between 1989-2003, wherein 1000’s of kid troopers grew to become sure up in energy tussles exacerbated by ethnic rivalry.
Human Rights Watch known as Friday’s sentencing a “landmark.”
“Switzerland’s efforts on this case ought to assist mobilize wider accountability in Liberia as this reveals that these crimes may be prosecuted. I see this as a possibility,” the group’s Elise Keppler stated.
Activists within the Liberian capital Monrovia celebrated the decision. “This may function a deterrent for others around the globe. I feel justice has taken its course,” stated Dan Sayeh, a civil society campaigner.
Kosiah had denied all the fees and advised the court docket he was a minor when first recruited into the battle. His lawyer didn’t instantly reply to an emailed request for touch upon the sentence.
Kosiah was cleared on Friday of tried homicide of a civilian, accent to the homicide of a civilian, an order to loot and recruitment of a kid soldier.
The court docket stated that the 20-year sentence was the utmost it was allowed to present beneath Swiss regulation.
“No mitigating circumstances have been taken under consideration within the sentencing. A deportation from Switzerland was additionally ordered for a interval of 15 years,” it stated. Kosiah was additionally ordered to pay compensation to seven plaintiffs, it added.
It was not instantly clear when the deportation would happen. The roughly 6-1/2 years that Kosiah has already served in pre-trial detention will depend in the direction of the sentence, the court docket papers confirmed.
Charles Taylor was sentenced for struggle crimes in 2012, however just for acts in neighboring Sierra Leone. His son, Chuckie, was sentenced for torture in Liberia by a US court docket in 2009.