Finnish Appeal’s Court has said that they will conduct hearings from 11 witnesses that are set to testify against former Revolutionary United Front (RUF) commander, Gibril Massaquoi popularly known as Angel Gabriel.
The RUF Commander was acquitted by a lower court in 2022 for lack evidence in the trial. The lower court found it difficult to believe that Massaquoi fled a UN Safehouse in Freetown to commit war crimes in Liberia in 2003.
The hearings will entertain witnesses from Sierra Leone and will take place in Liberia after the court claimed that they were refused access by the Sierra Leonean Government.
Speaking on behalf of the court, Presiding Judge, Kimmo Vanne said the trial has costed the Finnish Government quantum sums of money and has also been difficult for them.
Massaquoi is currently on trial by the Liberian Government for war crimes related to unlawful and arbitrary killing, rape and the use of child soldiers among other things in the Liberian Civil War.
The acceptance by the Liberian Government to allow the Finnish Turku Court to conduct their hearings in Monrovia has shocked many. The major concern has been around the protection of witnesses from intimidation but the Finnish Court said that modalities are in place to protect witnesses.
Several witnesses have already testified in the Liberian trial and the court will hear closing arguments on the 5th June this year.
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