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Friday, July 19, 2024

US WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATORS CRACK DOWN ON ALLEGATIONS OF WITNESS COACHING

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War crimes investigators in the United States are cracking down on alleged unethical behavior within certain groups. Specifically, Civitas Maxima and Global Justice and Research Project have come under scrutiny for reportedly coaching witnesses and tampering with evidence in war crimes cases.

Based in Washington DC, these investigators are intensifying their efforts to bring suspected war and economic criminals from Liberia to trial. Their primary objective is to ensure that the upcoming Liberian War Crimes activities are carried out with integrity and without any influence from parties involved in witness coaching.

In a notable case in London involving Agnes Taylor, allegations of witness coaching have surfaced, prompting US investigators to redouble their efforts to maintain ethical standards and pursue justice impartially and transparently. Similarly, in a case in Finland concerning a former Sierra Leonean rebel commander, Gibril Massaquoi who was falsely accused and maliciously prosecuted for war crimes he neither committed nor was in the country when the false allegations were made.  Twice he was acquitted on all charges by a Finish District Court and then by the Appeals Court and the latter clearly stated they did not believe the testimony of Hassan Bility.  His testimony changed every time he testified, similar allegations arose during previous testimony in other cases globally.

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Also, during the Gbril Massaquoi trial in Liberia it was revealed that Bility himself was a Rebel Leader and recruited Child Soldiers to fight during the  civil war.  This has been well documented by the Liberian media.  He reportedly asked one witness, who he recruited as a child soldier and fought with him to lie under oath that the wound to his ear he suffered during a battle was the result of Agnes Reeves directing rebels to inflict the wound.  This was of course false and the former child soldier refused to testify.  Another witness was coached by Bility and to provide a false statement by a coached witness that he saw Agnes Reeves order to kill Amos Bohn a former Margibi Superintendent and witness the alleged murder.  However, Bohn fled Liberia in 1990 and currently is alive and lives in London, UK.  These are lqfew of many allegations involving the global conspiracy to defraud numerous governments criminal justice systems for personal and financial gain.

This proactive stance being taken by US war crimes investigators underscores their unwavering commitment to upholding justice and integrity. By distancing themselves from any unethical conduct, they aim to ensure that legal proceedings remain impartial, allowing the truth to prevail. The upcoming Liberian trial represents a crucial step towards holding individuals accountable for war crimes and economic offenses, and the investigators are resolute in executing their duties in a professional and ethical manner.

This revelation raises serious concerns about the integrity of the war crimes court proceedings and the credibility of witness testimonies. The actions of Civitas Maxima, a group that should be advocating for justice and accountability, have instead undermined the pursuit of truth and hindered the court’s efforts to bring perpetrators of war crimes to justice.

The news of witness tampering and false testimonies not only erodes public trust in the court system but also poses significant challenges to the victims and survivors who seek justice for the atrocities committed during Liberia’s dark past. It is crucial for the court and relevant authorities to thoroughly investigate these allegations and take appropriate action to ensure the integrity of the judicial process, added one investigator.

As the international community continues to support Liberia’s transition towards lasting peace and reconciliation, it is imperative that all stakeholders, including advocacy groups, adhere to the highest ethical standards. The pursuit of justice should never be compromised, and those responsible for obstructing the truth must be held accountable, said other advocacy institutions.

The revelations surrounding Civitas Maxima’s alleged involvement in coaching witnesses for false testimony serve as a stark reminder of the challenges faced in achieving justice in post-conflict societies. It is a call to action for all actors involved to redouble their efforts in upholding the principles of truth, fairness, and accountability.

Now, US-based Liberian lawyer and founder of the International Justice Group, Jerome Verdier, has rebuffed the unethical practice.

“For too long, Hassan Bility and cohorts have sought to destroy, avert, and discredit the implementation of the Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC). The Hassan Bility Global Justice Research Project (GJRP), Civitas Maxima (CM), and the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) sought to coach several others to clandestinely set up a so-called ‘war crimes court’ desk in Monrovia with the aid of some senior government officials in its pursuit to avert the TRC recommendation for egocentric gains,” said Cllr. Verdier, the former Liberia TRC Chair.

Tons of revelations were made substantiating the devilish intent of Hassan Bility Global Justice Research Project (GJRP), Civitas Maxima (CM), and the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), and how they fabricated the submission of so-called evidence, including coached witnesses to lie on perceived enemies.

As this story unfolds, it is essential to remain vigilant and ensure that justice is served for the victims of war crimes in Liberia. The pursuit of justice must prevail, undeterred by those who seek to manipulate the system for personal gain.

One of the coaching instances highlighted by Washington-based investigators is the story of Magistrate Augustine Togbah. Finnish investigators had gone to Liberia to interview witnesses in Massaquoi’s case. One of the witnesses, Magistrate Augustine Togbah, had provided misleading and contradicting statements to the National Bureau of Investigations of Finland, precisely to Sergeant Mikael Vairio.

He claimed to have met GIBRIL MASSAQUOI at A LA LAGOON Hotel in Congo Town in 2002 and seen him in a pickup driven to the frontline in Monrovia in the same year. However, the defense team of MASSAQUOI revealed discrepancies in his statements, casting doubt on his credibility as a witness because A LA LAGOON Hotel was never opened before 2009 and there was no war in Monrovia in 2002. He also denied on record to the NBI himself been a combatant in the Liberian conflict. This was also proven otherwise as videos of him in combat, wounded and rescued was in the hands of the defense when he was a SATU of late President Doe and LPC fighter in Liberia. The defense was ready to show him in court of those proves but he refused to be present in court.

The case of witness tampering and false testimonies undermines the pursuit of justice and accountability in war crimes cases. It is crucial for the legal system to address these issues and ensure that the truth prevails.

Additionally, a defamation lawsuit has been filed against Swiss Human rights advocate Alain Werner and his organization Civitas Maxima by Madam Agnes Reeves Taylor. The lawsuit alleges false claims made by Werner in a signed affidavit to British Law Enforcement Authorities and others regarding her involvement in the Liberian civil war, seeking damages for the harm caused to her reputation.

As these legal battles unfold, it is essential for all parties involved to uphold ethical standards and ensure that justice is served for the victims of war crimes. The pursuit of truth and accountability must not be compromised, and those responsible for unethical behavior must be held accountable.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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