South African court won’t extradite Dutch arms dealer tied to Charles Taylor

By Janene Pieters |

Flashback: L/R: Charles Taylor, Grace Minor, Thomas Wiwoyou and Guus Kouwenhoven

South Africa will not extradite Dutch businessman and convicted arms dealer Guus Kouwenhoven to the Netherlands, the court in Cape Town ruled on Friday. The Dutch man was sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2017 for war crimes and selling arms in Liberia, AD reports.

The Dutch Supreme Court upheld Kouwenhoven’s sentencing in December 2018. The 77-year-old businessman was found guilty of smuggling weapons into Liberia and distributing them to the violent regime of then Liberian president Charles Taylor. Kouwenhoven arranged storage, trucks and drivers, making him an accessory to the crimes committed under te Taylor regime, the court ruled.

After being convicted on appeal, Kouwenhoven was arrested in South Arica at the request of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service. But despite his arrest, the Dutch man has managed to prevent his extradition time and again, according to the newspaper.

On Friday, the Cape Town court once again ruled against extradition. According to the South African court, Kouwenhoven committed his crimes in Liberia, not in the Netherlands. That makes his extradition contrary to the extradition treaty, the court said.

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