Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Dutch Timber Merchant Escapes War Crimes Charges

(TU No 456, 9-Jun-06)
A Dutch court found that Kouwenhoven had sold weapons to the former Liberian president Charles Taylor in return for timber rights. But he was acquitted of war crimes charges based on allegations that private militias formed by his timber companies had carried out atrocities.

During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence suggesting a close relationship between Kouwenhoven and Taylor, who was arrested earlier this year on war crimes charges issued by prosecutors at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. That court is currently pressing for his case to be transferred to The Hague for security reasons.