News / Africa

Alleged Liberian War Criminal Faces US Deportation

But, former Liberian official Jerome Verdier says George Boley, who faces expulsion over his alleged role in civil war atrocities, will likely be a free man once back in Liberia

Multimedia

Audio
  • Listen to Butty interview with former TRC chairman Verdier

James Butty

The former chairman of Liberia’s disbanded Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has welcomed a decision by a U.S. immigration judge to deport Liberian George Boley, who is accused of presiding over killings and the use of child soldiers during Liberia’s civil war.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said the judge found the 62-year-old Boley "removable.”

His deportation order came after a trial in which U.S. immigration officials said Boley's Liberia Peace Council burned to death and massacred captives in the 1990s.

But, former TRC chairman Jerome Verdier said Boley could be a free man after he returns to Liberia because the country is a colony that harbors perpetrators of atrocities.

“I don’t have the full understanding of the legal reasons why he’s being removed, but it is my understanding that he was being held for immigration violations and that his records during the crisis in Liberia also put him in a very unfavorable condition.  But, he’s going home to Liberia where there are others who have been accused of human rights violations in Liberia, and he's ’going to be a virtual free man in Liberia, just like the others,” he said.

Boley testified in 2009 before the TRC about his alleged role in the civil war as leader of the Liberia Peace Council (LPC).

Verdier said, despite overwhelming evidence, Boley told the commission that the LPC he founded was not a warring faction.

“Basically, we had a litany of allegations against him and the Liberian Peace Council, which he organized and headed.  But, he strenuously argued before the commission that he was not part of the peace council, that that was a different peace council that committed the atrocities,” Verdier said.

He said virtually all alleged perpetrators who testified before the TRC denied they committed any atrocities.

Verdier expressed disappointment that Boley could be a free man after his deportation because he said the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has refused to implement the recommendations of the TRC.

In its final report released in November 2009, the TRC recommended the prosecution of scores of former warlords and battlefield commanders who were believed to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during Liberia’s civil war.

The report also recommended the exclusion from political activity for 30 years Sirleaf and other Liberians, who were believed to have supported the war effort through financial donations.

Verdier said Liberia, under Sirleaf, is a land of impunity because she lacks the political will to implement the TRC recommendations.

“Liberia seems to be a colony that harbors perpetrators.  Second to that, there is no political will to take action on the TRC report, apparently because the people in authority, the current regime, do not have the political will to take action on the TRC process.  So, what we have is a land of impunity.  So, if Boley goes home, he joins his peers,” Verdier said.

Verdier said Liberia is never going to heal from war wounds unless there is a mechanism that can bring about justice for victims as well as perpetrators.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid