Dutch Supreme Court upholds weapon smuggling conviction

Guus Kouwenhoven

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The Dutch Supreme Court has upheld the war crimes conviction of a timber dealer who was found guilty last year of selling arms to former Liberian leader Charles Taylor and of complicity in war crimes committed by Taylor’s forces in Liberia and Guinea from 2000 to 2003.

Guus Kouwenhoven was first convicted of arms smuggling in 2006 but later cleared on appeal. He was convicted in April last year based on new evidence and sentenced to 19 years in prison.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an argument by Kouwenhoven’s lawyer that Dutch courts couldn’t prosecute him because of an amnesty Taylor proclaimed in 2003 shortly before stepping down as Liberia’s president.

Kouwenhoven was detained last year in South Africa and is awaiting extradition to the Netherlands.

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About Cholo Brooks 13523 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, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.