Dutch Prosecution (OM) very satisfied with conviction Guus K. for illegal weapon imports and complicity in war crimes

The Public Prosecution Service (OM) of the Netherlands is very satisfied with today’s conviction by the Court of Appeal in Den Bosch in the case against Guus K. Just like the Prosecution, the Court believes that K. is guilty of illegal weapon imports which he supplied to Charles Taylor’s regime in Liberia from 2000-2003 and of complicity in war crimes committed by Liberian troops.

The Court has imposed a somewhat lower sentence than the one demanded by the Prosecution, due to the long duration of the Defendant’s proceedings, his advanced age and fragile health.

The Court is of the opinion that the case file contains sufficient legal and convincing evidence to prove that K. is guilty of the illegal weapon imports. Without weapons and ammunition there cannot be an armed conflict. Those who violate the arms embargo and still import weapons and ammunition are partly responsible for the violent activities of the Liberian government. In addition, in line with the Prosecution, the Court believes that K. was involved in the commission of war crimes by Liberian troops. After all, besides supplying weapons, he also made his logging camp available for the storage and distribution of those weapons and other equipment. Moreover, he let his employees fight alongside the troops.

Just like the Prosecution, the Court argues that these are very serious crimes that have not lost their impact and are still relevant today. Atrocities were committed, serious grievance was caused, year after year. Therefore, with this sentence, the Court wants to give an important signal that no one can get away with such serious crimes, even though they were committed years ago and in another country.

The Court and the Prosecution have established that, after rendering incriminating testimonies, several witnesses were approached by the defence and persuaded to render false, exculpatory statements.

Now that the Prosecution’s demand for imprisonment has been granted, it will make every effort to see to it that K. will serve his prison sentence.