Trial Monitoring: Alieu Kosiah

The trial monitoring of the Alieu Kosiah case will be available after the appeal.

Alieu Kosiah, a former commander of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) faction, was tried before the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (FCC) in Bellinzona for war crimes allegedly committed during the First Liberian Civil War. The trial had been postponed several times because of the spread of COVID-19, and finally the Court proceeded with the preliminary questions and the hearing of the defendant from December 3 to December 11, 2020. The rest of the trial – the hearing of the plaintiffs and the witnesses, and the final pleadings – took place from February 15 to March 5, 2021.

On June 18, 2021, Alieu Kosiah was found guilty of: ordering the killing of 13 civilians and 2 unarmed soldiers; murdering 4 civilians; raping a civilian; ordering the cruel treatment of 7 civilians; infringing upon the dignity of a deceased civilian; repeatedly ordering the cruel, humiliating, and degrading treatment of several civilians; repeatedly inflicting cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment on several civilians; repeated orders to loot, and using a child soldier in armed hostilities. The FCC sentenced Mr. Kosiah to 20 years in prison. The defense lawyer filed an appeal against the judgement.

On September 2, 2022, following the plaintiffs’ appeal on this legal aspect, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) filed an amended indictment against Alieu Kosiah to include charges of crimes against humanity.

Appeal proceedings will begin in Bellinzona on January 11, 2023, and are expected to last until early February.