Dutch accused arms dealer acquitted

Businessman's eight-year jail term for selling arms to Charles Taylor set aside.

    Kouwenhoven allegedly smuggled arms to Taylor, who is accused of war crimes in Sierra Leone [EPA]
    Insufficient evidence

     

    According to the appellate court, much of the witness testimony was not credible because it was unclear on dates, locations and often contained elements that could be "objectively proven to be impossible".

    The court ruled that a conviction on such evidence would be "built on quicksand".

    The ruling is a blow for prosecutors who had appealed for a stiffer sentence and sought an additional conviction for war crimes for Kouwenhoven.

    Taylor trial

    Taylor was questioned last month over his alleged link with Kouwenhoven but he refused to testify about his relationship with the Dutch businessman.

    The former Liberian president is being held in a prison in The Hague, after his trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone was moved to the Netherlands amid fears that his presence in Freetown could threaten security in the region.

    Taylor faces charges of controlling armed militia in neighbouring Sierra Leone that had murdered, raped and tortured civilians during the country's 1991-2001 civil war.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.