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

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid