Massaquoi war crimes trial opens in Liberia

The war crimes trial of Gibril Massaquoi that began in Tempere, Finland, continued in Liberia Tuesday with the first prosecution witness taking the stand.

In the first testimony, the witness said she saw Mr Massaquoi near the Waterside Bridge in Monrovia one morning introducing himself as “Angel Gariel” to the multitude of people crossing the bridge from Bushrod Island to find food in central Monrovia.

“When we crossed the bridge, we got to a checkpoint and they told us ‘single file’” she told the four-judge panel. “When we got in the line, a man in a white T-shirt and camouflage trousers was walking introducing himself as ‘Angel Gabriel Massaquoi’. ‘I can send you to God’” the witness quoted Massaquoi as saying.

According to the witness, Mr Massaquoi, now 51, warned that he would take anyone who resisted his commands under the bridge to kill or rape them.

“He held my friend Felecia George by the hand and carried her,” the witness told the court. “My friend resisted and in that process, he fired up and carried her under the bridge. While carrying her, shooting began and we all ‘Chakala’ (ran helter-skelter), and that’s how I…

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