Monday January 18, 2021

Probe into war crimes of Sierra Leonean ends

Published : 13 Jan 2021, 23:52

Updated : 14 Jan 2021, 10:39

  DF Report

DF File Photo.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has concluded its investigation into several suspected aggravated criminal offences committed by a Sierra Leone national in Liberia between 2000 and 2003, said a police press release on Wednesday.

The suspect was born in 1969 and has been living permanently at Tampere in Finland for more than 10 years. The NBI arrested him on 10 March 2020. Later, the Pirkanmaa District Court remanded him into custody for trial.

The Sierra Leonean is suspected of murders, aggravated warfare crimes, and aggravated human rights violations against civilians in a state of emergency.

The corresponding present Criminal Code titles are aggravated war crime and aggravated crime against humanity.

The investigated criminal offences were committed during the Liberian civil war when the suspect held a leading position in the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a Sierra Leonean rebel group involved in the civil war.

In the RUF, the man is suspected of having committed and incited others to several aggravated offences.

“The investigation process has been extensive and it has included a lot of international co-operation. Criminal investigation has been conducted mainly in Liberia and partly in Sierra Leone, and witnesses and victims have been interviewed during trips to these two countries. Co-operation has been smooth both in Finland and between our international partners,” said NBI Head of Investigation Detective Superintendent Thomas Elfgren.

The criminal investigation into the case was launched in the autumn of 2018 at the order of the prosecutor general.

The case will now be referred for consideration of charges to the Office of the Prosecutor General. The right to prosecute ends on 25 January. The prosecutor in the case is State Prosecutor Tom Laitinen.