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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid