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Charles Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in prison in 2012
Charles Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in prison in 2012

Dutch weapons smuggler convicted for selling weapons to Liberia

A DUTCH businessman has been sentenced to 19 years by a court in The Netherlands for aiding a war crime over his dealings with Liberia.

Guus Kouwenhoven was accused of selling weapons to Liberia’s former President Charles Taylor during the country’s civil war.

The Dutch News website said he sold the weapons in exchange for lucrative timber contracts.

The judges wrote that the “weapons were used by Taylor in an armed conflict with rebels, in which over a period of many years countless civilians were victimised,” the Reuters news agency reports.

Kouwenhoven had previously been convicted of weapons smuggling, but that verdict was overturned. The Dutch Supreme Court then ordered a retrial.

Taylor himself was convicted of war crimes by the Special Court for Sierra Leone for his role in Sierra Leone’s civil war. He is currently serving his sentence in the UK. BBC

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