The 62nd day of public hearings resumed on Monday, January 24 in Finland.

The Judge announced that the Defence would present the closing arguments after which the Prosecutors would present their position on the Defendant’s detention.

The Defense Presents their Closing Arguments

The Defence appealed to the fact that the trial began a year before and Gibril Massaquoi had been detained and alone in a prison cell throughout the trial. The Prosecution’s requested penalty was based on charges of murders, rapes, and crimes against individuals. The Prosecution then presented dozens of new crimes against individuals, claims of murders (in Kamatahun Hassala, Mojama, and Monrovia), aggravated rapes, aggravated war crimes, and aggravated crimes against humanity in exceptional circumstances. The original time frame of the events was between 01-07-1999 and 03-09-2003 and then it was extended to 08-18-2003 which was presented on 07-01-2021. 


The Defense said that the closing arguments of the Prosecution gave the impression that the case was simple. However, the Defense said that this case was particularly debatable when it came to jurisdiction, the applicability of war crimes, crimes against humanity, the rule of law, and the accumulation of the law.

When it same to jurisdiction, the question was whether the active personality principle (the Criminal Code of Finland, Chapter 1, Section 6) or the universal principle (the Criminal Code of Finland, Chapter 1, Section 7) applied to this case. The first one requires dual criminality according to the Criminal Code of Finland, Chapter 1, Section 11) and it is an essential prerequisite for the process. It needed to be investigated. Regarding murders and rapes, was the active personality principle applicable? The Defendant, who has been living in Finland for a long time, is subject to the Finnish justice system. The question then followed of whether there was enough proof that the crimes had been committed? Dual criminality was important and the fact that there was no account on how the act expired in Liberia. The accumulation of the law was another question when it came to rape and murder. The Defense questioned whether it could be applied to an international crime. 

The Prosecution started by stating that the universal principle applied to the case, so that the crimes could enter Finland’s jurisdiction as international crimes. But the Defense questioned whether this was the kind of armed conflict to which international crimes were meant to apply. The universal principle was defined more precisely by the decree on the application of the Criminal Code of Finland, Chapter 1, Section 7 (627/1996) and referred to the Geneva Convention. The indictment was not based on the second additional protocol of the Geneva Convention. This would not even be possible according to the Finnish law. The Court could only apply the Geneva Convention or its first additional protocol as an aggravated crime. The Prosecutors had stated that these acts charged by the indictment are not the kind of acts that are defined in this decree. 

The Defense contended that the legal problems did not end there. They asked if the Court could apply these principles to an armed conflict and war crimes that are not international in nature. The Prosecutors had argued that it was possible because the acts in question were serious enough to be considered as war crimes. But what, the Defense asked, did this require? There was no definition in the government proposal of the war crime (55/2007) of what an act of war or war crime entailed, and there was no case law on the matter in Finland. This was very unclear. The regulation had been amended and the old practice was not applicable. It was found to be problematic according to the rule of law. There was no statement in the government proposal that the old regulation should be applicable to a situation of civil war. The current elements of the war crime had been taken straight from the Geneva Convention. The examples of a crime against humanity in exceptional circumstances had specifically mentioned the existence of armed conflict. This crime against humanity was applicable to internal conflicts and the legal status was clear on that. The Defense claimed to have studied international crimes and war crimes and to have noticed that they support each other. They were different procedures, and they were under different elements of crime. Accordingly, two different regulations were reasonable in that the war was found to be an external conflict, and that was the regulation’s starting point. Then, if the interpretation of the law was uncertain, the Court needed to apply the one most favourable to the Defendant. So, this had not been applicable in the matters of the civil war in Liberia. When it came to the aggravated crime against humanity, the Court needed to investigate whether the indictment was in line with the crimes according to the decree (627/1996), and if it was not, there was no jurisdiction. It was problematic with the rule of law. In the amendment of the Criminal Code of Finland, Chapter 11, the government proposal stated that the essential elements of the offence are quite open, which raised concerns with the rule of law. 

Firstly, the question about jurisdiction was uncertain. Secondly, the Defense asked, should this broad regulation have been applied so as to find the Defendant guilty? Finally, there was a question about the accumulation of law: aside from international crimes, could the Court judge the Defendant to be guilty of national crimes that had targeted individuals? The Prosecutors argued in favour of accumulating the charges of murder and rape to assess them comprehensively. The Defence saw this differently. The question was rather whether these acts were adequately assessed as international crimes or also as domestic crimes that had targeted individuals. The Defense reminded the Court to remember the purpose of being here. Any murder could not be covered by these kinds of vague reasons. The reason why this trial was held was because Gibril Massaquoi was suspected of these crimes. There was no judicial practice about the accumulation of law. When the regulation was amended, it stated that the essential elements should not be applied except to international crimes. 

On Friday, the Prosecutor had presented an analogy of causing a traffic violation that resulted in a death arguing that negligent homicide should be charged. This kind of analogy did not answer this question. Causing a traffic violation is an abstract endangerment that is enough to fulfil the essential elements and if it caused a death, it must be assessed as negligent homicide. A war crime was a different type of crime. War crimes create concrete damages, also deaths, and it was not an endangerment offence. 

The rapes and murders that were charged in the indictment were qualified as international war crimes. Gibril was claimed to have murdered, raped, tortured, and ordered or allowed forced labour. The crimes that had targeted individuals had been assessed to form an act of an international crime. The Finnish decree (627/1996) refers to the Geneva Convention. This supported the interpretation that conduct covered the acts that have targeted individuals. As a form of a war crime, an aggravated act requires, according to the government proposal (94/1993), that it must have caused a death of several people. This had been included in the essential elements of the offence. In the same government proposal, the crime of murder held the position of the most aggravated crime. Still, the Defense could state that although the aggravated war crime was added to the Criminal Code, the murders should also be considered. There existed a similar kind of regulation related to leading a terrorist group (the Criminal Code of Finland, Chapter 34a, Section 3). This kind of legislation carried a penalty of 15 years.

The Defense said that the world had changed during the last 20 years. There was probably a reason why the penalty scale was the way that it was that day. Then, a life sentence was introduced. It would have been artificial to charge an aggravated war crime for crimes that targeted individual people retroactively, so that the punishment could have been raised to a life sentence. The harshened attitude could not lead to a later assessment of the crimes that was to the detriment of the accused. 

Starting Point of the Interpretation.

The Defense proceeded with the starting point of interpretation in this trial. This trial was based on the material that Civitas Maxima and its Liberian sister organization collected on the Defendant. There were witness accounts from 2018. The NBI interviewed people that Civitas Maxima interviewed, but none of them had been heard as a witness in this trial. The police asked the employees that had previously worked for the GJRP to find new witnesses before the second official journey in March. The list and the appendix of how the witnesses had been found was in appendix 1.6. of the preliminary investigation protocol. The GJRP often helped with finding the witnesses (for the official journeys in November – December 2019 and November 2020). All these witnesses that came could mention Gibril Massaquoi or Angel Gabriel during the investigation. The Defense said that it was remarkable that the preliminary investigation continued during the whole trial and that the last additional protocol was completed only in January. 

The Phases of the Preliminary Trial.

The phases of preliminary investigations included the Prosecutors’ first trip to Liberia in January – July in 2019. They went to Lofa County and Grand Cape Mount County in Lofa Bridge, because those places related to the interviews that Civitas Maxima had conducted. They conducted no interrogations nor reached out to any witnesses.

The second journey took place between March and April of 2019. The witnesses were interviewed in Liberia, Monrovia and Lofa between 03-23-2019 and 04-23-2019. Before this, [Employee 1] was hired to search for the witnesses. They heard 42 witnesses, of which only one (Soldier 07) recognized Gibril Massaquoi and did not immediately remember his name. [Employee 1] had spoken to that soldier. All 19 of the witnesses who were interviewed that spring identified the offender as someone other than Gibril or they could not identify anyone or were not asked to identify the offender. There were stories, but only one instance of recognition.

During the third journey in September – October 2019, the Prosecutors went through old Liberian newspapers about the civil war. There was no such information in the newspapers that could tie the Defendant to the acts described in the indictment in any way.

The fourth journey took place between November and December 2019 when a lot of people were heard. The information about whom they were talking had spread. They heard 48 witnesses in total, of which the first person in this investigation who recognized The Defendant was heard on 12-05-2019 (Soldier 14). Eight persons identified the Defendant, and all of them were heard in Monrovia. 

The fifth journey was between October and November 2020. After a year, during which the Defendant had been held in detention, the Defence witnesses were heard in Sierra Leone. It was undisputed that the Defendant was in the safehouse of the Special Court from 10/03/2003 onwards. The NBI began hearing new witnesses in connection with this trial which continued in Liberia. The new witnesses were heard first in Sierra Leone and continued in Liberia. There were 39 witnesses heard in Court whose testimonies all placed the end of events before the year 2003. 

Then 20 new witnesses and [Employee 1] were heard in Monrovia in May and June 2021. All the new witnesses placed the events to the year 2003.

Relevant questions for the evaluation of evidence

To decide on this case, evidence evaluation was essential. The first question regarding this was the timeframe of the events covered by the indictment. The Defense asked, was the threshold of investigation that high that no other alternative hypothesises could be tested? The next question was whether Angel or Angel Gabriel was really the Defendant or if the names had gotten confused. The third question was whether the Defendant was in Liberia after June 2001 or if he was in Liberia during the time of events. Then, if the Defendant was in the position to direct or command soldiers in Liberia? Was the Defendant the perpetrator of the acts charged in the Indictment? Had the alleged individual descriptions of the criminal acts as charged been proven? What about the reliability of the evidence?

Evaluation of evidence

The Defence had presented extensive proof that the Defendant was not in Liberia. Had the events occurred during the times that Massaquoi was away? Usually, the method of proving the hypothesis was used for the evaluation of evidence. The Prosecutors had presented their own hypothesis of how and under what conditions the Defendant acted. The Defense presented an alternative chain of events. In this kind of situation, the Court needed not to assess which one of the versions is more reliable after evaluating the evidence. Rather, the charge needed to be dismissed if the Court could not rule out the alternative factual scenario. The Supreme Court of Finland had previously ruled that a Defendant´s version of facts is assessed only if the evidence in support of the indictment is strong enough. There were several cases of the Supreme Court of Finland that validated this. So, when the time of act could not be pinned down so that the Defence could defend effectively, this had to be taken into consideration.

The Defense underlined the threshold of initiating an investigation related to the assessment of evidence. It needed to be noted that the threshold of the investigation had to be satisfied; the Prosecution’s material needed to be so clear that potential alternative hypotheses could be tested against it. The threshold of investigation included the possibility of obtaining the necessary proof to discredit the alternative chains of events and if the threshold of investigation could not be reached, the charge had to be dismissed. It needed to be noted that the evidence of the case was all that was possible to get on this matter. It was not the NBI’s fault that they were only able to investigate the Defendant. One way to assess the proof was to assess its probability in the face of the facts alleged. The reliability of the recognition, the time laps, and faulty memories, all played a role.

Julia Korkman provided a statement on the reliability of proof. She researched facts relating to memories and the credibility of witness accounts relying on scientific research data. The Prosecution has presented its view on the matter and now the Defence had the opportunity to do so as well. 

According to Korkman, people communicate continually about their experiences with others and have a tendency to alter their views and interpretations on the basis of the information gotten from elsewhere and from people that are seen as reliable. This phenomenon needed to be highlighted in this trial, especially regarding its impact on a tight community. This was something to be taken seriously throughout the whole trial. Memories are linked with interpretations and assumptions, and they can get confused. Memories can change radically, too. The Defense referred to this passage from Korkman’s statement because the Prosecution had painted the picture that the Defence argued that witnesses have been gathered in groups to lie. This was not the position of the Defense, but the Defense argued that the memory of a lot of witnesses had been vulnerable to confusion. 

Regarding conflicting narratives, Korkman stated that contradictions in testimony might come from the fact that the witness remembers the fact correctly, but the question was not asked properly and the memory does not come to mind at the hearing. Alternatively, the memory was correct, but became confused over time, or because the person had assimilated general information about similar events. The witness testifying could also twist the testimony on purpose, succumbing to the pressure of the community, motivated by financial motives or something else. When witnesses were being heard 20 years after the events, these were worthwhile considerations. In addition, Korkman brought up the cultural element to remembering. While the ability to remember varied from one individual to another, it also varied between different groups. Both personal and cultural circumstances played a role. In many African countries the culture was more communal. This cultural difference needed to be considered when assessing the reliability of the evidence. 

Regarding recognition, Korkman had stated that time affects memory and circumstances affect the accuracy of recognition. Based on studies it was known that people’s recognition is of a modest accuracy. The distance, lighting, and the age of witness needed to be considered. In addition, the fact that the person who made the recognition could be exposed to information after the commission of the crime, needed to be considered as a possible source of error in identification. Regarding stress and trauma, it had been noted that when stress is continuous or serious it can weaken memories. So, the Prosecution’s argument that stressful situations were easier to remember might not have been right.

On identification via Photos.

There had been four different photo collages, and two different photos had been subjected to identification. The NBI started witness hearings on 23/03/2019 and the first unreliable recognition was made on 09/04/2019. The first undisputed identification was made over 8 months after the information about the investigation had spread. The information had been shared through the grapevine. It was not meant to hurt anyone, but people talked about their experiences and issues. This was supported by the fact that in October 2020 every witness recognized Gibril, pointing to a clear development in identifications. In addition, none of the people heard or met outside of Monrovia had recognized the Defendant. Everyone who recognized him was heard in Monrovia. It could only be said that the Internet worked well in Monrovia, but not in Lofa. Was this one explanation for recognitions that have been made only in Monrovia, where all of the witnesses (100 %) recognized the Defendant?

On identification via Video.

In addition, one videoclip in which Gibril is speaking was used for identification. The video was not presented before the photo identification. The National Police Board of Finland ordered the recognition which was valid. The order was formulated to comply with it in the preliminary investigation, in consideration of due process. In the section 4 of the order, it was stated that the video and photo identification must conform to the rules on choosing the reference people in the group identification. There needed to be at most one suspect and at least five reference persons. There were no reference people in the video. Some of those who identified the Defendant in the video had identified another person from the photos, or they did not identify anyone. The video identification was made against the National Police of Finland’s instructions.

On the reliability of identification.

Next, the Defense’s position on the reliability of the recognition generally was that the more time that passes between the crime and the identification the lower the probability was of making an accurate identification. The information that came after the crime created a risk if the recognizer saw the suspect before on some occasion. It was probable that there were witnesses from the preliminary investigations who had really met Gibril before and knew what he looked like. This could have affected their testimonies.

Murders in Monrovia – Aggravated War Crime counts 4.3 and 4.5 

The Defense moved on to the counts of indictment and started with counts 4.3 and 4.5 which concerned the murders in Monrovia and the aggravated war crimes. 

According to the original indictment the time period of events was set between 07/01/1999 and 09/03/2003, and more precisely it was estimated to have been between January and December 2002. This was the starting point when the main protocol was agreed upon and the trial began. 

On 01/07/2021, the Prosecution extended the relevant time period until 18/08/2003 but did not specify which counts of the indictment this extension particularly affected. They most likely wanted to first hear the witnesses testify in trial to evaluate whether their testimony supported a particular count of the indictment. The Prosecutor informed the Court on 20/01/2022 that the likely time frame of events was between 01/05/2003 and 18/08/2003. 

The Prosecution’s evidence concerning the count of indictment related to Monrovia was solely based on witness testimonies. 

The Defendant had consistently been saying that he was in the Special Court’s safe house after 10/03/2003 and could not have left the house to go to Liberia. The Defense’s proof was initially based on this undisputed matter, which remained undisputed. Now it was disputed whether it was possible for the defendant to leave the house. 

During the whole trial, no motivation was proven to show that the Defendant had an incentive to commit the acts as described in the count of indictment concerning Monrovia. Evidence against the existence of said motive was the fact that Gibril Massaquoi had stepped down from the RUF’s military wing and had moved into politics, promoting peace negotiations, and he had also signed a witness protection agreement on 23/10/2002 concerning the incidents in Sierra Leone. A mandatory condition for this agreement was that he would not commit any crimes. So, the Defense asked, why would he leave for Monrovia in defiance of all this?

The changes in the dates of the events.

During the trial there had been many changes in the dates related to these counts in the indictment. The Prosecution had also submitted an appeal on this.

Initially, there was no problem, and the witnesses placed the incidents in Monrovia to 2003. This, however, changed radically at the end of 2020 when witnesses were heard in Freetown between 13/10 and 27/10/2020 and it became clear that the Defendant was in a safe house in that period with strict security measures in place. After that point, new witnesses were heard who dated the incidents in Monrovia, contrary to the historical record, to have happened in 2000-2001. The NBI had started the hearing of these new witnesses already on 2/10/2020 and by the 20th, new witnesses had made a change to the year of occurrence of events relevant here. These new witnesses were found very fast. 

The expert report and statement of Ilmari Käihkö.

Käihkö gave an expert statement in the trial concerning the war in Liberia. He said that the famine, robberies, LURD’s attacks, and the shooting of civilians in stores in Monrovia unambiguously happened in the summer of 2003. In addition, Käihkö stated that the LURD was fighting at Iron Gate during the summer of 2003 and moved towards the south of St. Paul’s Bridge. The LURD arrived at the bridge on 27/07/2003 but the rebels could not cross the bridge due to resistance. Furthermore, according to Käihkö, the LURD did not mount any smaller attacks to Monrovia before the summer of 2003. The LURD controlled Kolahun during the summer of 2003 and it was basically impossible to travel to Monrovia on main roads. Waterside was also partly under the control of the LURD.

Monrovia – Timing of the incidents in preliminary trial investigations

The Defense moved onto the preliminary trial protocol (2400/R/200/18) page 1331 which was a list of the hearings of witnesses related to the incident in Waterside. 

Prosecution witnesses (in yellow) who were heard before the Defense’s witnesses placed the incident in Waterside (Monrovia) to the year 2003 with one exception, Civilian 37, who stated the incident took place in 2002. All of them changed when the witnesses were heard in trial; they changed or attempted to change the timeframe to 2000-2002. For example, Civilian 08 tried to change the timeframe to 2002, but after the Defense went through the preliminary trial hearing material with the witness, he said it could have been 2003 after all. There was a clear intention and a will to try to change the date. Civilian 28, in the preliminary trial proceedings, dated the beginning to 2002 and end to 2003. In court he dismissed 2003 and said that the incident took place in 2001. Civilian 37 dated the incident in the preliminary trial proceedings to 2002 but in trial changed it to 2001. Concerning these witnesses, they were certain that after some more thinking the new date was correct and dismissed any discussions or other incentives to have caused the change of date. Soldier 01 could not provide a date and did not confirm or change the time. Soldier 15 dated the incident in the preliminary trial proceedings to 2002-2003 but in court changed it to 2001-2002. 

During and after hearing the Defense’s witnesses (13/10 – 23/10/2020) it was undisputed that Gibril was in the Special Court’s safe house from 10/03/2003 onwards. Accordingly, the Defense had no need to provide additional proof for the time after 10/03/2003.

Thereafter, the Prosecutor’s new witnesses (in red) dated the incidents of their preliminary trial descriptions to have ended in 2002 the latest. In addition, most witnesses dated the world wars 1-3 to have taken place in the years 2001, 2002 and 2003, contrary to factual historical record. 

It was undisputed that world wars I-III were fought between June and August of 2003. They were inclined to change the dates after Käihkö’s statement according to which the incident took place in 2003. 

The first unreliable identification was done on 09/04/2019 (soldier 07). The following identifications were done in December 2019, when the first reliable identification was made. When moving to 2020, all witnesses except one identified Gibril. It was noteworthy that the rate of identification of the Defendant increased as the hearings proceeded. This kind of progression was not possible if the witnesses were found as claimed so that no one met or spoke with them previously, and they generally did not know the purpose of their attendance at the hearing. Many have also said that the Defendant introduced himself by name and position. 

There were people who changed the year of the incidents from what they told in the preliminary trial investigations. The witnesses heard in 2019 almost all changed or tried to change the year. After that a new group of witnesses did not have to change the year because they had changed it already during preliminary trial hearings. There was also a group of witnesses who said that Gibril introduced himself, shouted his name and position, and used the name Angel Gabriel. The Defense asked – if he was supposedly on the run from the safe house why would he be shouting this?

The discovery of these witnesses in Monrovia 

The NBI said that they had personally found new witnesses without the help of [Employee 1] or somebody else contacting them first. However, the Defense presented a table on the way in which the witnesses of Monrovia were found. The Defense said that one could see that the witnesses were spoken to by the GJRP before the NBI started investigations. All the witnesses were found through GJRP’s employees or through witnesses already heard during the preliminary trial proceedings. What kind of discussions had been conducted was unclear. No witness was brought to this trial by the NBI. For example, soldier 07, who was already interviewed by the GJRP before NBI, brought multiple witnesses to the trial (soldiers 04, 17, 01). Civilian 28 also brought civilians 31, 37, 46 and 24. The contacting had been done through intermediates which explained, as the Prosecutor also said, that statements can impact a tight community. 

Monrovia – Timing of incidents in preliminary trial proceedings 

The hearing of Prosecution and Defense witnesses ended in Liberia on 07/04/2021 and the last witness was heard in Sierra Leone on 18/05/2021. The Defense was of the belief that as the fact that Gibril was in the safe house was undisputed there was no need to prove that the incidents in Monrovia would have taken place in 2002. 

The Prosecution conducted additional investigations (additional protocol 4), when 20 new witnesses were heard as well as [Employee 1]. The witnesses were heard between 10/05 and 06/06/2021. So, while the Defense witnesses were being heard, The Prosecution searched for new witnesses. 

Ilmari Käihkö was heard on 11/06/2021 and he confirmed that LURD had not attacked Monrovia before June 2003. This is this trial’s most valuable comment. Käihkö also confirmed the dates of the following incidents that multiple witnesses had discussed:

• Iron Gate / St. Paul’s bridge in June 2003

• Town in 2003

• Dwala in 2003

• Old Bridge in 2003

All these events were related to the world wars I-III during June-August 2003.

After this the Prosecution extended the timeframe of the indictments to 18/08/2003. A need to find witnesses that would testify to the events in 2003 became evident to the Prosecution, because it was clear that the indictment would not succeed if the timeframe remained in 2001-2002. 

In trial, 15 new witnesses were heard in addition to the Defense’s witnesses to prove that Gibril’s stay in the safe house was undisputed. The Prosecution’s new witnesses described the events in Monrovia and placed them mainly in 2003. Another new feature described in the testimonies was that Massaquoi tried to hide from people which would fit with his behaviour if he was on the run from the safe house but was contrary to what was asserted previously about him, namely that he was shouting his name and position. 

Monrovia – New witnesses 

Originally the dates for the events of relevance for Monrovia were May to August 2003 and the witnesses heard last year (2021) were the only ones who dated the events to 2003. The following could be summarized from their statements: 

Witness X2 stated that they saw Gibril at the Biscuit store and the troops were led by General Senegalese.

During the preliminary proceedings, X3 told the police that there was a picture of the Defendant in Monrovia and promised to bring it to the police. However, in court the witness stated that the picture had been spoiled after being left in the rain long ago. Taking photographs was very common during the war, X3 also testified that Yeaten had ordered that nobody was allowed to see the Defendant, fitting with the theme of the safe house. The witness also stated to have been a good friend of the Defendant and to have driven him daily but did not recognize the Defendant in photos. 

X4 testified to have picked up the Defendant from Kolahun in the summer of 2003 with several generals. Käihkö stated that Kolahun was under the control of LURD then which makes it very unlikely that they could have travelled by the main roads because LURD controlled the areas in Lofa. Käihkö also asserted that summer 2003 was the rainy season when the roads would have been in an even worse state than today and smaller roads most likely even worse (the Prosecution had argued that they could have used smaller roads). It could not be ruled out that this person was in the same convoy as the Defendant, but it could have been between 2000 and 2001 when Gibril was factually in Liberia. 

X5 promised to deliver photos of the Defendant to the police which were from the conflict in Ivory Coast. The police asked for the photos and the witness said they were in the possession of a woman in Liberia. The Defense insisted that these photos be retrieved. This would have been the perfect smoking gun if the Defendant was actually standing with a gun in the photo in Liberia and it could be traced to 2003. The police had no interest in searching for the photos, so [Employee 1] was tasked with doing so. The Defense underlined that the retrieval of conclusive evidence should be done by the police. [Employee 1] informed the court that the woman who had the photos ran out and no photos were found. In addition, in his statement before the court, the witness added a fight with Gibril which had not been mentioned before.  

X6 extensively described their experiences in Lofa from the beginning of the 2000s. X6 testified to have been a guide for the RUF and a commander. When asked who was present in Lofa a long list of names was given but the name of Defendant was not mentioned. It begged the question of how he could not have known of the Defendant’s presence if he was the RUF’s guide. But if it happened that X6 also saw the Defendant in Monrovia, it was probably between 2001 to 2002. 

X7 was a chauffeur but did not get his car from the Defendant. The witness testified about trips to Voinjama in 2003, which was not possible because LURD controlled the area then. At that time this kind of transportation was not possible, but it may have been possible in 2000-2001. Military transportation between Makeni and Kono in 2002 was also impossible because the RUF’s military activities had ended in 2001. 

X8 stated that after Sam Bockarie died, Salami led the Sierra Leoneans until he himself died. 

Y1 did not know Angel Gabriel during the preliminary trial investigations but mentioned the name in the trial. In addition, Y1 described an accident on a Waterside bridge in 2003 and said that the Defendant was present. Following the reference to the preliminary trial material Y1 admitted that he misspoke, and that the accident took place in Lofa. According to Y1, Zigzag Marzah was responsible for the incidents in Kamatahun. 

In trial, Y4 described events that took place in Monrovia that he had heard of but had not seen.

Y5 stated that the Defendant was in Waterside for long periods and that Gibril smoked, which he never did. 

Y6 testified not to have seen Gibril in Monrovia but to have heard of him. The interviewer mentioned the Defendant’s name three times even though the witness did not use the name. 

Y7 testified that [Employee 1] asked about the Defendant directly. Y7 was asked, “Did he tell you which general you should talk about? – Yes, he said general Gibril, commonly known as Angel Gabriel”. This information came from [Employee 1]. Crucially, [Employee 1] denied saying anything to anybody. 

Y8 did not testify about the incident in the indictment but said they had seen the Defendant in Waterside weekly. 

Z1 testified to having seen a person who was said to be the Defendant and who was fat.

Z2 stated in the preliminary trial proceedings to have been contacted by a friend who claimed that they had a problem with the case. They needed “unbroken” witnesses and it was related to Angel Gabriel. 

Z3’s testimony was related to the safe house.

The majority of the people who contacted the witnesses were people whom the NBI did not know or know of. The Defense had asked the Court to investigate this, but nothing was done. [Employee 1] was also unable to say more about these people. [Employee 1] had said that he might be the other individual mentioned by Z2 but refused to mention the problems in the trial. Typically, there were two to three people between [Employee 1] and the witness. The Defense raised the possibility that mistakes could happen in this kind of situation. 

There was also the additional protocol number 5 annex 2, where it was evident that the NBI did not know the people who were rushed to testify at trial. Z3 said he was contacted by Alain Werner, who is the director of Civitas Maxima and who was supposed to be fully removed from the investigations while the NBI was conducting it. 

The murders in Kamatahun Hassala, Aggravated war crimes, Aggravated rapes in Kamatahun Hassala and Foya, Aggravated crimes against humanity in exceptional circumstances, Counts 4.1., 4.4., 4.5., 4.5.1.

The time period of events covered by the indictment was 07/01/1999 until 18/08/2003, more precisely estimated to be between 01/03/2001 and 31/09/2001. The proof was based on descriptions and a list that was prepared by one witness and which was later submitted to the court. It was unknown how it was delivered. After, multiple new murder indictments were added.

There was a historical record of the incidents in Kamatahun Hassala according to which they took place between September and December 2001, which was during the dry season. The Prosecution’s dates were during the rainy season. The Defendant had already left Liberia in June 2001. 

Kamatahun Hassala – Identification of witnesses

None of the several witnesses who were heard outside Monrovia before 2020 identified the Defendant from a photo. All the others, except for civilian 35 and 11, identified another person as the perpetrator. In the entirety of the preliminary trial materials, nobody who was heard outside of Monrovia recognized the Defendant in photos. The likely explanation was the fact that the internet worked in Monrovia but not in Lofa. 

The murder of [FNM-162] in Yandehun and Aggravated War Crimes, Counts 4.2. & 4.5.

The time period of events covered by the Indictment was between 07/01/1999 and 18/08/2003, but most likely between 01/03 and 31/09/2001. For these counts the Defense emphasized that the Prosecution’s only proof was one person’s account. The witness had identified the “wrong” offender from a photo but mentioned Angel Gabriel. 

Smaller counts of the indictment: forced labour, physical work, aggravated abuse.

The Defense said that this was the same case. Nobody who was present for these crimes recognized the Defendant, only those witnesses in Monrovia and one from Freetown recognized him. The Defense said that the differences in the testimonies could be cut with a knife.

Finding witnesses in Lofa

The theme here was communities. The Defense wanted to highlight what [Employee 1] might have said. It could be gathered that the process of finding witnesses had not gone quite as presented. [Employee 1] travelled to the area before NBI’s second and third trip to identify witnesses. He was searching for witnesses to testify in the Defendant’s case. 

[Employee 1]’s first hearing

[Employee 1] described meetings in villages, his first encounter with the village heads and usually having to come back the following day. He met people whose names and contact information were written down. [Employee 1] was instructed by the NBI to only ask straight questions. He also described going to Kiantahun where the same procedure was followed as in other villages. He denied being involved in Civitas Maxima’s investigations. 

Between the hearings the Defense could access [Employee 1]’s notebook, and its entries confirmed the visit to Kiantahun. The Defense thoroughly went through the notebook during the trial and the Kiantahun question came up. A representative of Civitas Maxima has been following the trial all along, so the Defense suggested that the information was passed on. This was not forbidden per se but following the review of the notebook it transpired that [Employee 1] went to Kiantahun before the NBI which thought that they went there before [Employee 1] had contacted anyone. 

[Employee 1]’s second hearing

[Employee 1] changed his story and denied the visit to Kiantahun or meeting any witnesses in the Lofa area. He said that once they left the villages, [FNM-312] returned and only brought with him a list with names. This was a totally different story. When [Employee 1]’s notebook was discussed, he denied that page 115 had to do with Gibril’s case. Later he admitted that he had returned to the villages, as he had said in the first hearing, and met some of the witnesses. In addition, the Defense asked him whether he participated in Civitas Maxima’s investigations concerning the Defendant to which he answered “no, no, no” and added that he was only aware of them. 

[Employee 1]’s third hearing

[Employee 1] admitted his participation in Civitas Maxima’s interviews and remembered some persons with whom he had contact by name. 

On the following slides the Defense showed some pictures of [Employee 1]’s notebook. 

Between 06/04 and 12/04 [Employee 1] was in Lofa, and there was a list of witnesses heard in this trial, including their names and other information. [Employee 1] himself stated that he went to the villages to collect names, from this it could be concluded that he was meeting people as he originally described. 

On 08/04/2019 there was a meeting with the NBI who gave him instructions on the questions to be asked concerning the burning houses, generals, and diamonds. This showed that the interviews were a type of preliminary questioning. It could not be seen as anything else if people were asked about specific names and asked if they could speak about these people. They talked about soldiers, mass graves, and incidents in Kamatahun Hassala.  The following note contains the dates 08-12/04/2019 and 12-18/10/2019 which is the time when the trips were made. He wrote down the names of people who answered questions. 

One could see Kamatahun Hassala, Kiantahun and Kartuhun. The NBI noted Kiantahun as a village they found but here one can see that civilian 50 and civilian 36 from Kiantahun spoke of it. 

So, the hearings began after the initial contact was made by [Employee 1]. It was important that [Employee 1] first said that he visited villages to ask questions. In a later hearing this turned out to be a problem and subsequently he denied it in trial. 

[Employee 1] wrote down a list of people who had been questioned, showing that those were other people in addition to the heads of the villages. One could also see that specific questions about RUF soldiers were asked. So, in the preliminary trial the NBI stated that the RUF was never mentioned during the hearings, however [Employee 1] had regardless asked about the RUF. There were also a few questions ending with “etc.” which raised questions. 

Had the witnesses been influenced or did [Employee 1] become aware that the descriptions had changed? Civilian 61 was heard with group 4 after the hearing of the Defense’s witnesses and the case of the safe house arose. Civilian 61 first said 2003 but that was crossed out and 2001 was written down instead. Possible conclusions stemmed from this – had [Employee 1] insisted that the person change the year or did the witness want to change the date? [Employee 1] was aware of the time period in question and which witnesses were needed when. 

[Employee 1] claimed to have been in contact with the NBI in 12/11 and that he and interpreter 4 visited Keintahun. He contended that they followed the normal protocol of entering the villages and identifying the witnesses after answering direct questions. So, there was some selection of witnesses. This might have explained how 100 % of the witnesses approved by [Employee 1] knew to speak of Angel Gabriel or Gibril Massaquoi; he did not bring any misses to the preliminary trial. 

Witness L5 

Witness L5 wrote an article which was part of the preliminary trial material. When the Defense travelled to in Monrovia with the Court and the Prosecution, the Defense reached out to this person who lived in Liberia and had to flee the country after criticizing a member of the government. He was in the North when these horrible incidents happened. He interviewed around 75 persons for the article which described the incidents in Kamatahun Hassala. Based on the article the Defense set the time-frame of events between September-November 2001. These interviews were conducted imminently after the incidents. He also described in the interview other people who fled the violence to Sierra Leone and travelled through Kamatahun Hassala. The report also mentions the central kitchen and the killing of women and children. 

Many of the persons interviewed by L5 named the person in charge to have been ZigZag Marzah. L5 confirmed that none of the persons he heard mentioned Angel Gabriel, Angel or Gibril. Also, [FNM-226], who testified in this trial and also interviewed the people in the area heard no names related to Gibril Massaquoi. The Human Rights Watch report also supported the view that Gibril was not involved in the incidents. In the TRC report, different witnesses told 22 stories of what happened in Kamatahun Hassala, and many mentioned Zigzag Marzah as the one responsible as well as other commanders, but not Gibril or Angel Gabriel. 

The Defense referred to annex 1.11 of the preliminary trial protocol, page 790, describing incidents the police wrote down as related to the incidents of Kamatahun Hassala. Zigzag Marzah was mentioned in many cases, and there was no mention of Gibril. The Defense highlighted the fact that Gibril was not mentioned in the descriptions of witnesses.

The Defense raised a possibility that the Prosecution may have considered that the Defendant and Zigzag Marzah were present at the same time and Gibril gave the orders. However, Zigzag was higher ranked; the Defense thought it inconceivable that a person coming from Sierra Leone would take command and rise above Zigzag. 

Torture in Clay – Count 4.5.6 

According to the original indictment, the Defendant personally tortured [GJRP-1] by giving him electric shocks. The Prosecution changed the description of the incident on 20/01/2022 according to which the Defendant gave orders to a woman to administer the electric shocks to [GJRP-1]’s private parts. The original description is based on what [GJRP-1] told to Civitas Maxima in a 2018 statement according to which Gibril was the person doing the torture. This statement was personally written by [GJRP-1] so he could have changed it if he wished. [GJRP-1] provided the same statement for the Charles Taylor trial in 2009. 

First hearing in court

[GJRP-1] testified, for the first time, that the shocks were administered by a woman and that other people were present, including Gibril, which was a change of story. [GJRP-1] confirmed, when asked multiple times, that he did not know who gave the orders. [GJRP-1] said he personally wrote the statement given to Civitas Maxima, so he would have had the possibility to modify it. He explained that the description changed because things became clearer to him. 

In addition, he said that he was tortured by Gibril on 26/07/2002 and it was his first time in Clay. 

Despite this he confirmed the following statement given in Civitas Maxima’s interviews: “I was taken to Clay 26/07/2002, I was there for at least a week before Gibril came. I was tortured twice before Gibril came (this could be already the beginning of August). I was in Clay for a few weeks before I was taken with a helicopter to Foya and out of the country.”

He was not sure if he was also hit with a stick. 

Second hearing in court

[GJRP-1] was heard again in Monrovia. He still maintained that a woman administered the electric shocks, but he changed his story to say that Gibril was the one giving orders to the woman. He also described how SS-men had to be Liberian, but Taylor could also add other people to the troops. 

Third hearing in court

The third hearing took place this January. [GJRP-1] attributed the modifications to his story to him feeling ashamed to tell the truth in the Taylor trial for cultural reasons. However, he made the same mistake in the hearing of 2018. He confirmed that in the 2021 NBI’s hearings that he had told the truth in the Civitas Maxima interview. He explained that what he testified before the court then is what he believed to have happened. 

In addition, he claimed that the Defendant was a SS-soldier though he had said before that SS-men were Liberian and there was no proof that Taylor named Gibril as an SS-man. 

The modifications in his story are meaningful when considering Civitas Maxima’s mission to convict war criminals. He jeopardized the indictment of another person by being too ashamed to say who was actually in charge. 

Hearing at the Special Court on 18/08/2008

[GJRP-1] was also heard in the Charles Taylor trial at the Special Tribunal. According to his statement he was tortured with electric shocks but did not mention the Defendant. 

Preliminary Trial Protocol (additional protocol no. 1) 26/01/2021

[GJRP-1] was arrested on 24/06/2002 in Monrovia and did not remember when he was taken from Monrovia to Clay. He was tortured in Clay on 26/07/2002 and remembered this date because the guards in Clay were speaking of Independence Day. 

The Defense recalled that Gibril met [FNM-226] in the summer of 2002 and [FNM-201] and [FNM-230] in August at Mamba Point in Sierra Leone. If [GJRP-1]’s statement was correct, the dates overlapped. The Defendant gave a statement to the Truth Commission on multiple days in July 2002. His former spouse said that their wedding day was 26/07/2002. According to Defense witnesses, the Defendant did not leave Sierra Leone between June and August 2002. [FNM-178] said that he lived with the Defendant in Sierra Leone during 2002. Defense witness 09 said that he left Liberia with Gibril at the beginning of 2001, and he returned to Liberia but did not see Gibril in Liberia ever again.  

Defence witnesses L1-L4

The Defense turned to the acquisition of witnesses in general. The Defense witnesses L1- L4 stated that [GJRP-1] had asked them to testify against the Defendant during NBI’s investigations on the case. 

L1 said that [GJRP-1] promised him financial remuneration and that during a meeting he had received money from [GJRP-1]. Each witness was heard twice, and their stories were unchanged in the relevant parts. 

The Defense also noted that [GJRP-1] and the NBI claimed to have agreed that GJRP would no longer interfere in the investigations in any way. 

The Defense also said that a demand to testify against someone could not be regarded as an appropriate way to search for witnesses. 

[Employee 1]

As to [Employee 1], the Defense’s objection was related to whether [Employee 1] conducted preparatory interviews. It was undisputed that he was not an investigator or police officer, as he had no formal education in that field. In this case, GJRP’s [Employee 1] identified and conducted preparatory interviews with witnesses on behalf of the Finnish police. This was against the law. [Employee 1] had been instructed to only pose direct questions to people, but they should not have been interviewed nor should they have heard the Defendant’s name. 

The Defense then made the following statements:

  1. The investigation had been conducted with the assistance of GJRP’s [Employee 1] whose boss is GJRP’s director, [GJRP-1], one of the injured parties in this case. 
  2. [Employee 1] conducted preparatory interviews that are considered preliminary trial investigations which can only be conducted by the police. 
  3. [Employee 1] was disqualified to work on investigations because his boss was one of the inquired parties. 
  4. [Employee 1] could not have been considered to have “broken away” from GJRP while working for the NBI. 
  5. [Employee 1] had modified his story about meeting the witnesses and his participation in Civitas Maxima’s interviews.
  6. 100 % of the witnesses supplied by [Employee 1] mentioned Angel, Angel Gabriel or Gibril.
  7. [Employee 1] had said to at least the following people who the investigations concern and others who have said this:
    1. Promised a grant to Civilian 35; promised to include Civilian 64 in GJRP’s program; said the names Gibril and Angel Gabriel to Y7; said the names General Gibril and Angel Gabriel to Z2 and proof of this existed; Soldier 07 promised to Soldier 17 new legs and other things; Civilian 62 got Gibril’s name from Civilian 05. 
    2. These people all initially denied these statements. 

The Witness Testimonies

The Defense said that there were many discrepancies between the witness testimonies. Some changed and some were false. For instance: 

Soldier 09, in the preliminary trial, spoke of Chief Massaquoi, but in trial the name changed to Angel Gabriel.

Civilian 80 talked about the killing of his brother but did not mention the other brother in preliminary trial investigations.

Civilian 24 said in the preliminary trial that two people were killed by Gibril, while in the trial stated that they both died of sickness.

Civilian 11, in the preliminary trial, claimed to have been raped by multiple soldiers, but in the trial denied others were involved except for Angel Gabriel.

Civilian 60 said that the Defendant beat up a pregnant friend, then spoke of an escape, and there were later inconsistencies over the number of children involved. At the end, the witness said she only came to know Gibril after the trip.

Civilian 66 described Angel Gabriel cutting open a girl’s throat, but in trial they said that Gibril shot the girl.

Civilian 35 stated in the preliminary trial that they saw the civilians forced into a house, but in trial stated that they saw nothing.

Civilian 14 claimed to have left Kamatahun after the village was burned, while in the trial claimed to have heard of the burning only after it happened.

Soldier 17 did not know of Angel Gabriel in the preliminary trial, and instead spoke of Gabriel Wilson, but in the trial spoke of Angel Gabriel.

Civilian 36 said that the Defendant burned his wife and a child in Kamatahun in the preliminary trial, but in the trial said that the child is alive with the grandmother.

Civilian 69 spoke of Angel in the preliminary trial, but in court spoke of Angel Gabriel.

Civilian 50 spoke only of Gibril Massaquoi in the preliminary trial, but in court spoke of Angel Gabriel.

Civilian 40 claimed that it was his brother speaking on the tape when it was played back in the trial. 

Angel Gabriel/Angel

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia assembled a large report on the events in both civil wars. It was published in 2009. There was for instance, the following excerpt:

June/July 2003: the murder of 42 persons on the Johnson street bridge in Monrovia by Lomax and Marcus High Grade. Lomax was the artillery crew commander of the Wild geese. High Grade was the bodyguard of Yeaten and Nyenay, the victims accused of looting and summarily executed.

The report spoke of the incidents in Monrovia and mentioned the perpetrators but there was no mention of Gibril, Angel Gabriel, Gibril or Angel. It was based on 20,000 statements from over 17,000 victims. One Massaquoi is mentioned concerning an incident in 2003 but it needed to be kept in mind that Massaquoi was a very common name. The report also mentioned the RUF and RUF leaders, for example, Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon. 

The Safe House

It was clear that the Defendant went to the safe house with his family on 10/03/2003. He did not leave the house without guards and could not have left it without someone noticing. There was 24/7 security and at first the guards were armed only during the night. The guards were changed twice per hour and at each shift the premises and people were checked. The changes were marked in a book which the Court could not obtain as evidence.

The Defendant also personally received a weekly allowance. He often visited the Prosecutors and Special Court. When the Defendant was needed in these places, they called and asked people to bring him in. There was never a situation that the Defendant was not in the safe house. 

The Defense referred to evidence from the following witnesses: the Defendant’s ex-wife, [FNM-178], [FNM-328] and [FNM-228]. Written evidence was provided by [FNM-243].

[FNM-226] testified that it would have been suicidal for Gibril to travel to Monrovia during the summer of 2003 because he would certainly have been killed. Taylor knew for sure that Gibril had started to cooperate with the Special Court. 

Witness Z3 did not work at the safe house in 2003. He started in 2004 and never noticed Gibril’s absence from the house without permission. Gibril was always available when he needed to visit some place outside the safe house. 

Defence’s missing evidence 

The Defense stated that not everyone was heard in trial whose testimony would have been beneficial. The Defense listed the names of 8 people who could not be heard because they refused the request or were prohibited from testifying, including [FNM-243], [FNM-234], and [FNM-201].

Photos in the additional protocol number 9 

The Defence highlighted two photos provided to the NBI by X9. The Defense said that one of them was clearly photoshopped. 


To conclude, the Defense was confident that they had provided vast evidence in rebuttal in the form of written evidence and witness testimony. They referred to evidence in the form of documents from the UN, different media outlets, the reports of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission both from Sierra Leone and Liberia, witness testimonies from people who knew or knew of the Defendant and/or the RUF’s activities well, and counter-enquiries into discrepancies in the Prosecution witness’ testimonies. The Defense also highlighted that there were witnesses whose stories could not be true or were otherwise altered in exceptional ways and reminded the Court that not all of the Defense’s witnesses could be heard. 

The Defense indicated the end of their final pleadings. The Judge invited the Defendant, Gibril Massaquoi, to make a statement.

The Defendant, Gibril Massaquoi, Makes a Statement

The Defendant thanked the court for working hard to obtain more information on this case, and particularly for having travelled to Africa multiple times. He declared that he would speak shortly on the Prosecution’s closing statement. 

Firstly, the Defendant addressed the proposition that people who fought in Liberia spoke Krio or Mende and that Angel Gabriel or Gibril was their commander. Krio and Mende tribes existed in both Sierra Leone and Liberia; they were the descendants of freed slaves who were sent to Liberia and Sierra Leone. There were different names for the language, and they had the same accent in English. The Defendant echoed the Defence’s point that Gibril, Angel Gabriel and other names like Agbah, and the phrase used before killing a person, that Angel Gabriel sends you to God, did not exist in any material published in Liberia. There were many other slogans like “your father is dead, your mother is dead, I will go kill,” and many others, but the one mentioned did not exist. 

The Defendant also commented on the change of the Monrovia dates in the indictment. The Defense consistently argued that the events happened in the summer of 2003. The newest change to the indictment was that RUF was there and that the Defendant was their commander. At that time there was no RUF in Liberia. The RUF had surrendered the weapons and started a peace process in 2001. Those who fought, fought on their own accord. The RUF did not exist in Monrovia. 

[GJRP-1] said that the Defendant was one of Taylor’s SS-men. He contested this, adding that there is a list with names that was presented during the Charles Taylor and RUF trials and it did not contain his name, or Gabriel or Angel Gabriel. He urged the Prosecution to contact the Prosecutor’s office in the Special Court and ask for the list. 

In [GJRP-1]’s first hearing the Prosecution had asked who had asked Gibril to be present in Clay. The Defendant understood that [GJRP-1] said that if Benjamin Yeaten was not present, he was, which would mean that he would have had to have been there multiple times on different days. 

According to the Prosecution, 62 witnesses had testified that the Defendant was the commander of troops in Liberia, which the Defendant found surprising. He asked why the Court had needed to send multiple investigators on multiple occasions. The witness’ statements should have been enough the first time, without a need for a second, third or fourth trip. The Defendant asserted that these witnesses had been coached by the GJRP, headed by [GJRP-1]. He pointed out that 31 witnesses in the first Monrovia trial provided the wrong dates while the real dates were factually known. 

Regarding the changes in the witness’ testimonies, the Defendant asserted that Civitas Maxima had followed the trial throughout. As soon as the evidence of the Defendant’s whereabouts was shared, the dates were changed. 

Finally, the Prosecution modified the indictment, and the most recent modification was the removal of the statement that Civitas Maxima and GJRP had nothing to do with the trial. It was removed because it was a fact that they were present. The Defense was aware of what the Defendant had discussed with Alain Werner, but it could not be discussed in trial. The GJRP had provided witness X8 for this trial. 

The Defendant thanked the Court for its patience and understanding.

The Prosecution’s Penalty Request

The Prosecution explained that their position was that the Defendant was guilty of murder, which carried a sentence of life imprisonment. In the event that the Court found that this was not the case, the Prosecution said that aggravated war crimes and aggravated crimes against humanity should be imputed. The strictest penalty for those crimes was 12 years of imprisonment, but considering the acts of homicide, the Prosecution requested that the Defendant be sentenced to 15 years, which was the maximum possible sentence when applying joint penalty. 

The Prosecution asked that if the Court found the Defendant guilty of either aggravated war crimes or aggravated crimes against humanity, he should be sentenced 12 years.

The Prosecution asked that if the Court found the Defendant guilty of aggravated rape, referring to the seven women, then he should be sentenced to at least 8 years of imprisonment.

If the Court found him guilty of the rape of Civilian 11, they asked for six years of imprisonment.

The Prosecution recognized that the Defendant had been in custody awaiting trial for almost two years. However, they said that given the gravity of the crimes and the fact that the judgement would be announced within months’ time, keeping him in custody was not unjustifiable. Accordingly, the Prosecution requested that the Defendant remain in custody. 

The Judge asserted that the Court planned to issue the judgment by the end of April, but the Prosecution countered that it did not impact their request. 

The Defense’s Statement on the Penalty

The Defense demanded that all the charges be dismissed. 

The Defense also stated that should the Defendant be found guilty of murder, then a life sentence would be the only possible punishment. 

If the Court found the Defendant guilty of the other criminal acts charged, they carried a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison and together a maximum of 15 years in prison, but the upper end of the penalty scale could not be applied. Speaking about the aggravated war crimes as a whole, the crimes charged were not that aggravated, as assessed by the number of people. Also, the events had occurred over 20 years prior, which needed to be considered when assessing the sentence. The Prosecutor had requested maximum sentences, but owing to the time that had passed, the Defense said that the sentence should be at most half of what the Prosecutor had requested. The Defense said they would leave the consideration of assessing the sentence to the Court. 

The Defense did not demand the Court to decide that day whether the Defendant should remain in custody but reminded the Court that he had been in custody, and awaiting trial, for two years. The Defense implored that when the Court considered extending his custody, the Court would conclude that it was no longer required to keep Gibril imprisoned. The Defense urged the Court to continuously keep in mind that the Defendant was in prison.

Decision on Detention

The Court declared that 20 years had passed since the alleged events. The Defendant had been imprisoned for almost two years. The Defense had not claimed that it would be unreasonable to keep him imprisoned. The Court found that the imprisonment could not be deemed unreasonable. The general preconditions for imprisonment were fulfilled because of the several, serious crimes that were under review. The Defendant was thus ordered to remain imprisoned at the Kylmäkoski Prison. The Court considered ex officio the requirements of imprisonment. Finally, the Court announced that the judgment would be issued on 29/4/2021 at the latest.

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