Alan White’s ‘Tarot Cards’ On Liberia’s War Criminals

Dr. Alan White – “It’s been 15 years and we’ve been slowly and surely pursuing justice against the people,”

The name ‘Alan White’ to citizens of Africa’s oldest republic, Liberia who witnessed one of the world’s brutal civil wars in West Africa, Liberia is not a strange name, especially when he was tagged as the Chief of Investigation for Sierra Leone Special Court who spearheaded in the gathering of evidence against detained Liberian leader in the UK, Charles Gankay Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

‘Dr. Alan White’ as he is affectionately call, was one of the most talk about during the trial of the former Liberian leader, his determination to have the former Liberian President Charles Taylor convicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity during Liberia’s fourteen years senseless civil war became a milestone for his investigative sojourn.

As Liberians anxiously await the holding of their country general and presidential elections come October 10, 2017 with some of those who actively took part in the country civil war are playing the ‘devil advocates’ to contest with impunity by swirling the hearts of their countrymen in their bid to be elected, a surprise package has befitted them; especially those who actively took part in the civil war that led to the destruction of lives and properties.

The resurfacing of the name, Dr. Alan White during the Liberian elections’ year seems to give some signals to the Liberian war perpetrators that their days will be numbered, and that justice is awaiting them for what they have done over the years, especially during the country senseless civil war.

Recently, both players in the Liberian civil war who are now claiming to be the most best suited presidential candidates in the pending elections were at the center of insults and allegations when one of the players, Senator Prince Yormie Johnson, a former warlord of the defunct Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), and now Senator of Nimba County accused his partner in war activism, businessman Benoni Urey, political leader of the All Liberian Party (ALP), and one of Taylor’s confidants also a member of the defunct National Patriotic Party of Liberia (NPFL) with a plan to have him (Prince Johnson) arrested upon the request of the political leader of the ALP Mr. Benoni Urey for onward handover to Alan Whites.

Information gathered by local media about the alleged arrest of Senator Prince Johnson by Alan White while in the Ghanaian Capitol of Accra upon the invitation of Mr. Urey to be handover to Dr. White for his arrest and possible transfer to the war crime court has publicly drew the attention of the public.

Each and every one of the players in the fourteen years Liberian senseless and brutal civil war are now parading the corridor of power in Liberia leaving with the cultural of impunity, while the same time putting the electorates under the pretext that they are the ‘Good guys’, and that they are working hard to change Liberia when elected.

As it is always said, “Ninety-nine days for rogue, one day for master’ seems to be generating serious grounds, as strategies are said to be in full on the part of authorities at the war crime court to bring to book those who bears the full responsibility of the Liberian civil war that threw back the country’s developmental drive, with most of its infrastructural ruins.

Speaking to a local newspaper recently, the former Chief Investigator, Dr. Alan White said, “This is one particular individual that has a historic past – the recent revelations and witnesses that are coming forward and eyewitness account allegedly of him executing an unarmed American is just an unthinkable crime – again now it’s for the Americans but also for the Liberians and the historic past we have, we couldn’t tolerate this so we’ll let justice play out.”

But speaking to VOA Nightline on Sunday, White said the investigation into this case and other atrocities committed in Liberia had been going for the last 15 years.

According to Dr. White, there is a need for retributive justice for perpetrators of atrocities committed during the civil war.

“If the investigation proves that this occurred, that will have an impact on this.”

“One of the things that I did want to mention on this – this is not something that’s new, there’s an extensive record of crimes and atrocities that have been committed,” Dr. White said.

White recalled that it took a very long time to get ex-President Charles Taylor and others who have been arrested in connection with atrocities committed during the 14 years of war.

“It’s been 15 years and we’ve been slowly and surely pursuing justice against the people,” White added.

According to White, though Johnson claims to be a changed man, it does not erase the fact that he allegedly committed atrocities during the war for which justice must be served. He, however, added that being a changed man, a clergy, etc. could be factors that can be considered during the sentencing period.

“This is one particular individual that has a historic past – the recent revelations and witnesses that are coming forward and eyewitness account allegedly of him executing an unarmed American is just an unthinkable crime – again now it’s for the Americans but also for the Liberians and the historic past we have, we couldn’t tolerate this so we’ll let justice play out,” Dr. White said.

Senator Johnson recently alleged that the allegation of his involvement in the murder of the U.S. citizen was fabricated due to his refusal to support Presidential candidate Benoni Urey on the request of Washington.

According to Johnson, he and Dr. White met in Accra, Ghana where White informed him that he was a lobbyist for Urey and that Washington was interested in making Urey President for the purpose of business because some close associates of U.S. President, Donald Trump who is also a business, are interested in doing business with Urey here in Liberia.

But debunking Johnson’s allegation, White said, “President Trump and Mr. Urey did not kill anybody and the evidence that I know of that is surfacing did not come from them, it came from Liberians who think enough is enough and would like to see justice.”

The renowned investigator said he was involved in the investigation that led to the 19-year sentence of Guus Kouwenhoven who exploited Liberia’s forest and traded arms in the country during the war.

He added that he was also involved in the gathering of evidence that led to the recent arrest of Agnes Reeves Taylor in the U.K.

He noted that there are other international jurisdictions that are looking at other people who were allegedly involved with Liberia’s war. “So if Liberia can’t do it, there are other mechanisms to make sure that justice is brought to the victims,” he asserted.

Hladini Devi dasi originally named Linda Jury was an American devotee of the Hare Krishna faith who was allegedly killed by Senator Johnson on October 3, 1990 in Caldwell.

She was killed because she reportedly wrote Johnson and his men a letter requesting them to stop the brutal killings.

Accordingly, Johnson was angered by the letter. A well-wisher passed a message to the devotees that Johnson was likely to get rid of them.

At that time, it was too late to leave the temple and take shelter elsewhere, as many of the buildings in the area were either destroyed or being controlled by Johnson’s troops. The devotees stayed at the temple and left their fate in the hands of Lord Krishna.

The death squad arrived in the early morning hours. Johnson and his men carried away by jeep the seven devotees who had been captured.

Two devotees managed to escape through the back door and climb up trees to take cover. Suddenly, those two devotees heard gunshots from the direction of the bridge.

They saw that the captured devotees were being shot by Johnson’s men.

At daybreak, they came down from the tree. Instead of going to the temple, they walked to the river where they saw Hladini’s sari floating on the water. Hladini and five male devotees become martyrs of the Liberian War. Hladini was the first one shot.

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About Cholo Brooks 5286 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.