U.S. Lawsuit Against Ellen: Who’s Telling the Truth?

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Former Liberia President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Despite reports including a live radio broadcast on Voice of America (VOA-Day Break Africa program) that former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been sued at a U.S. Court for war crimes allegedly committed in Liberia during the civil conflict, she has trashed the information and termed it as a blatant lie.

Responding to interview questions from former Information Minister Lawrence Bropleh on the Bumper Show, Madam Sirleaf said upon receipt of information that a lawsuit had been filed against her, along with a number of other Liberians for war crimes committed in Liberia during the 15-year carnage, her lawyer counter-checked the information upon her request and informed her that it was not true.

“When someone told me that there is a post on social media stating that I was sued in the U.S. to answer to war crimes, I immediately contacted my lawyer to check it up and advise me. He did and came back only with a finding that it was not true and there is no need to give it credence,” she said. “But even if it were true, I am not afraid of any court case because my records both in private and public service can exonerate me.”

To the contrary, Daily Observer has a copy of the summons, filed in the District Court of Massachusetts in Boston.
In fact in the live VOA Day Break Africa broadcast, presenter James Butty, who ran the story, reported that a summons was allegedly issued; but he did not indicate if it was served on the former president or her lawyers. He noted that she has twenty-one days as of March 26 to respond.

He also interviewed the former head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, (TRC) Cllr. Jerome Verdier for his reaction. Verdier expressed his support to the process and hailed Torli Krua, a Liberian in the U.S. and his father, Rev. Mahn Coaley Krua, for taking the bold step to bring the former president and her accomplices to face justice.

“Ellen may think that giving US$ 10,000 to a rebel faction to go to war against a government, and more so with over two hundred thousand innocent lives destroyed is not a case. Yes, she lied before the TRC that she gave only that money and it was for humanitarian purposes. But we disagreed with her after discovering that she was even the main fundraiser for the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) of jailed President Charles G. Taylor, who led the rebel faction that immensely contributed to the destruction of the country and its people,” Verdier said.

He added that the TRC’s findings revealed that the former president was a major factor in the recruitment of child soldiers who destroyed the lives of their own people.

The lawsuit also named former NPFL Defense Minister Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu, former president Charles Taylor, US Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and President George Manneh Weah, as a sitting head of state of Liberia to the case.

According to court document, the suit was filed on Friday, March 26, and Judge Denise Casperis was assigned to the case.

Meanwhile, the former president urged those who are suing her to do so in Liberian courts, rather than in U.S courts.

Concerning officials in the CDC government, as well as others from her former political party, UP, who usually try to discredit her efforts spent on making Liberia a stable country, Ellen said she will continue to ignore them.

“I hear all the criticisms but I leave them with their conscious minds. I am not here to help them become relevant by debunking accusations and several other things,” she said. “I am not afraid of any legal proceedings as it is clear that I declared my assets before ascending to the presidency in 2006 and did same in 2011. I also declared my assets in 2018 before leaving office.”

Author

  • David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

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David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Justice must be served for those innocent lives taken by those who committed it. There should be no exception. God requires justice and we as a nation and people must pursue it. The Liberian courts were not good for Charles Taylor, certainly it is not good for Ellen Johnson also.

    • Taylor wasn’t held for crimes in Liberia, but Sierra Leone. So, Madam Sirleaf should be held for crimes committed in Liberia and should be trialed in Liberia, not with the case of Mr. Taylor.

      Frank Dickerson

  2. “Meanwhile, the former president urged those who are suing her to do so in Liberian courts, rather than in U.S courts.” I wonder why.

    • The reason is people accused Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the US government for playing hands in Doe demise. So, going to the US to dig it own dirt, that will be happen. She basically saying, this world is fulled of shadow governments, people that controls other leaders for their agenda. Don’t waste your time in the US, start for here in your own country first.

    • Kortu; it’s because, whatever crime(s) Lady Sirleaf is accused of, occured in Liberia. Liberia has a “Court System”; that can not be overlooked… I believe the U.S’ justice system knows that.

  3. Dear Liberians,
    I always say the mistakes we as a people are making is being personal on issues as they arise in our country. The crises emanating from the Liberian civil crises was started by former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf? Let us be frank with ourselves; if Cllr. Jerome Verdier, former chairman of the TRC is alluding to that, then I say sorry for Liberia; because there is no honest person in our midst. The problem with us(Liberians) is that we take our personal differences with us on the national scene.
    Why blamed the crises in Liberia on the former president? Did Jerome Verdier who chairman of the TRC not welcomed the NPFL into Liberia? That is the reasons Prince Johnson discredited the commission, because Verdier as student of the University of Liberia(UL) was one of several students, marketeers, civil servants,etc. who welcomed the rebels to overthrow their government in 1990, and here they are disclaiming their participation into the civil crises. Finally, almost all of us encouraged the war to come to Liberia, either actively or passively, I do not see why they are blaming few persons. That is why we called for a TRC process to assist in uniting the country. Keep your hatred to yourself and do not share it to others.
    Thanks.

  4. Ellen will find her end some days behinds bar alive looking at her wicked past. Ellen is a cruel woman who was the reason for the lost of lots of lives in our country. Ellen and her children brutally killed Boy Harris Greaves on policies difference in Liberia. We know her sons Fombah and Robert masterminded the brutal murder of Harris Greaves in Monrovia, this is a open secret.

    The ghost of late Edwin Holder, and all those who died from the failed November 12 1985 invasion led by Gen T Quwounkpa that resulted to the execution Col John Nuahn; Capt Humphrey Moor, Special Commando UNIT of the AFL , the Late Major John S. Acquoi , former Supt of Lofa County and many others will seek her to death.

  5. The reason is people accused Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the US government for playing hands in Doe demise. So, going to the US to dig it own dirt, that will be never happen. She basically saying, this world is fulled of shadow governments, people that controls other leaders for their agenda. Don’t waste your time in the US, start for here in your own country first.

  6. I have my own view in regards to this case. If there is no justice now, there will be no justice tomorrow.
    Those who virtually embraced the civil war had reason to do so and those who aggrieved now have reason to also do so.
    One thing I will tell the leadership of Liberia and future leadership is to properly reconcile our people. People are hurt in Liberia because of those who perpetrated crimes against our people are the very people in leadership and with no second thought, are stealing the country resource keeping the very poor that suffer in the civil war in even real abject poverty.
    These war criminals are not sorry for their actions but are very boastful. Most of them show no sign of sorrow for which we can say yes, we need to forgive these people.
    Ellen and her children came and even punished the native for killing their 13 kens men on the pole.
    The very first thing she did upon her ascendency in 2006, was to have a memorial service for the 13 men killed by the People Redemption Consul (PRC). She never initiated any reconciliation conference for the entire country. She was only giving influential position to the children and family members of those that die during the PRC revolution. Her intent to support former President Taylor NPFL was clearly demonstrated in her administration.
    She made us understand the over 250,000 ordinary Liberians that die during her supported war spearheaded by her own agent Charles G. Taylor was for revenge against the native of the country. She only recognized the 13 men Killed but never care the over quarter of millions that die and the billions worth of properties that were damaged. She never knew that there was Duport Road massacre that requires memorial. she never knew the Lutheran Church massacre also requires another memorial and many more including the Harbel Camp # 1 massacre. We can’t stop giving our analysis on this issue. let her go and tell the American and the World at large how Taylor broke jail in America to become Rebel Leader in Liberia and later President of Liberia. Let her explain how Jackson F. Doe got killed from her direct order.
    She can’t lie to that side.

  7. Ours, was a civil conflict. You can not point a finger at any- one person; without having the rest of your fingers pointed at yourself. Let’s reconcile and move forward; for a better Liberia. We will need at least a hundred-yaer, to bring every one involved in Liberia’s Civil War to “TRIALS”. We are all some how guilty by association. Remember! It was a Civil War. Let’s first of ALL look at the “Root Cause(s). There was tremendous angers on both sides.

    • Historically, those tried for war crimes are folks who bear the most responsibility for the war, and those who committed the most egregious acts. It doesn’t take a 100 years to try a dozen or more people.

      • Phil; Liberia’s Civil War situation is MORE complex than your imaginations. There was also Tribal Hatreds. I doubt you’d blame that on a “HANDFUL” of people. The root-cause of Liberia’s Civil War; was certainly not Lady Sirleaf. Why don’t we give her a credit for keeping Liberia peaceful for 12years? Thanks to Lady Sirleaf. We have our freedoms of speech; never like ever before in Liberia.

  8. Phil; Liberia’s Civil War situation is MORE complex than your imaginations. There was also Tribal Hatreds. I doubt you’d blame that on a “HANDFUL” of people. The root-cause of Liberia’s Civil War; was certainly not Lady Sirleaf. Why don’t we give her a credit for keeping Liberia peaceful for 12years? Thanks to Lady Sirleaf. We have our freedoms of speech; never like ever before in Liberia.

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