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Hello, this is Michelle, with our monthly highlights from the world of international justice, in partnership with Civitas Maxima.

January revived old wounds as two convictions for war crimes committed during the Liberian civil wars were revisited in European courts. One of the trials is taking place in Switzerland – the first of its kind in the country’s history.

At another hearing in Germany, the sole survivor of a massacre in Gambia might shed more light into the brutal regime of the country’s former president Yahya Jammeh.

photo journaliste

Michelle Langrand


War crimes round-up

Photo article

Alieu Kosiah, a former Liberian rebel commander is currently on trial in Switzerland for war crimes during the country’s first civil war between 1989 and 1997. (Civitas Maxima/JP Kalonji)

The first month of 2023 has been an indicator of how universal jurisdiction is gaining ground globally with every passing year. In Switzerland, the appeal proceedings against Liberian former rebel commander Alieu Kosiah began in a case that has represented many firsts. It was the first time ever that a Liberian national was tried for war crimes connected to the country’s civil wars and that the Swiss Federal Criminal Court held a war crimes trial. The appeal trial also brings new milestones as it considers crimes against humanity for the first time in a Swiss court. Lawyer Romain Wavre and I are representing four of the seven plaintiffs in the case.

- Alain Werner, director of Civitas Maxima

Geneva Solutions (EN)

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