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Liberia: French court hands former rebel leader 30-year prison sentence

People wait in front of the entrance of the courtroom where a former Liberian rebel is on trial in Paris courthouse, Oct. 10, 2022   -  
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Francois Mori/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.


On Wednesday (Mar. 27), a French court handed former Liberian rebel commander Kunti Kamara a 30-year prison sentence for violence against civilians and complicity in crimes against humanity.

The crimes were found to have happened between 1993 and 1994 during the First Liberian Civil War in Lofa county, in north-western Liberia.

During the proceedings, the Court heard 22 witnesses, 9 civil parties, and 5 experts, according to Civitas Maxima. The group coordinates a network of national and international lawyers and investigators who work for the interest of victims of international crimes.

Kamara had been sentenced to life in prison during a first trial in Paris in 2022.

His lawyers welcomed the shorter sentence but still argued their client was innocent.

The 49-year-old was arrested in France in 2018.

He was a regional commander of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy  (ULIMO), a rebel group that fought the National Patriotic Front of former President Charles Taylor.

Some 250,000 people are estimated to have beeen killed in the West African nation during back-to-back conflicts from the late 1980s to the early 2000s.

In early March, Liberia's parliament backed the creation of a war crimes court. 

A truth and reconciliation committee had recommended the establisshment of a special tribunal to try those accused of committing crimes but no action was taken.

Senators still have to vote on the bill in a country where some former warlods have held elective positions.

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