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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More