A former Liberian military officer was placed in provisional detention by the Paris Court of Appeals on Tuesday, September 25th. He is accused of crimes against humanity during the Liberian civil war in the 1990s.
The accused, who has been residing in France for the past 20 years, was previously placed under investigation on September 13th and placed under judicial supervision. This judicial decision was made against the recommendation of the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office, which subsequently appealed and successfully obtained the provisional detention of the former military officer.
These legal actions stem from a complaint filed by Civitas Maxima. Since 2012, this non-governmental organization has been collaborating with the Liberian organization Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP) to document crimes committed during the two civil wars that rocked Liberia from 1989 to 1997 and then from 1999 to 2003.
According to Civitas Maxima, the accused individual is named Saturday. He is believed to have been one of the commanders of the NPFL, led by former President Charles Taylor when Taylor was still a rebel leader during Liberia’s initial civil war. According to investigations by Liberia’s “Truth and Reconciliation” commission, Taylor’s militia is responsible for nearly 64,000 human rights violations. The accused, Saturday, is implicated in several crimes against humanity committed during the conflict, which is estimated to have resulted in between 150,000 and 250,000 deaths.
This marks the eleventh case that Civitas Maxima has brought before foreign courts, as no trials have been held in Liberia. Last year, former rebel commander Kunti Kamara was sentenced in France to life imprisonment for complicity in crimes against humanity.