Kunti Kamara is being tried under a French law that recognises universal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity and acts of torture.
A former Liberian rebel is on trial accused of committing crimes against humanity, torture and acts of barbarism during the civil war in his country.
Kunti Kamara is 47 but he was younger than 20 when he was among the leaders of the Ulimo armed group in Lofa county between 1993 and 1994.
Kamara denies “complicity in massive systematic torture and inhumane acts” and says that he does not know any of the witnesses accusing him.
He faces life in prison if convicted.
According to court documents, his crimes include hitting a man and opening his chest with an axe to pull out his heart and eat it, along with allowing and abetting rape and sexual torture, and compelling people into forced labour.
Kamara, who is on trial in Paris, has admitted being a battlefield commander and leading about 80 soldiers during the war, saying he did this to defend himself against a rival faction.
He said he left Liberia after the end of the first civil war in 1997, heading to the Netherlands, then to Belgium before arriving in France about two years before his arrest in 2018.