Dutchman acquitted of war crimes

A Dutch businessman was acquitted of war crimes and the illegal trading of weapons in Liberia by an appeal court in The Hague on Monday. The court said there was insufficient evidence to convict Guus Kouwenhoven.

The public prosecution department had demanded 20 years imprisonment and a fine of €450,000 against Kouwenhoven for the illegal import of arms to Liberia during the country’s civil war, reports NOS on Monday.
The appeal court said it was not convinced of the trustworthiness of witnesses who linked Kouwenhoven to arms dealing and war crimes.
Kouwenhoven was sentenced to eight years in prison for breaking the UN arms embargo on Liberia in 2006.
The court criticised the way prosecutors had conducted the investigation, saying they had not sufficiently checked testimonies even when the defence had shown numerous contradictions and mistakes, says press agency Reuters.

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