In the trial of the former rebel leader of Liberia, voice to the victims

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The historic trial of Alieu Kosiah – the first Liberian national to be tried for alleged war crimes committed during the first civil war (1989-1997) in Liberia – began on Monday at the Federal Criminal Court (TPF) its second phase. This will last three weeks: the first is reserved for hearing the plaintiffs, the second for hearing witnesses and the last for pleadings.

As part of this first trial in international criminal law held by the TPF, six of the seven plaintiffs who had not been able to travel to Switzerland for the initial phase in December, when Alieu Kosiah was auditioned, were present in Bellinzona. They had access, before their hearing, to the recording of the words of the defendant, also present at the TPF, defended by Me Dimitri Gianoli and who contests the 25 charges against him. Aged 45, the accused has been in pre-trial detention since 2014 in Bern.