Monrovia – A woman told the Finnish court hearing the war crimes case of Gibril Massaquoi that the former rebel commander killed a pregnant woman to settle a bet with his men over the sex of the fetus.
She said the incident happened in 2003 in Monrovia.
“He brought a pregnant woman, and right away he and his boys started to argue whether the unborn child was a boy or girl,” the woman, identified as “Civilian 72,” the second witness, told the court on Tuesday. (The court has ordered journalists to conceal the witnesses’ identities for fear of reprisal and intimidation.) “Within no time, he opened the woman’s stomach right before us and took the child out and said ‘I told you this child was a girl.’”
The witness said she was 14 at the time, lived in ELWA community and had gone to Waterside to purchase used clothes before they were captured.
She said pro-government militiamen later took her and other marketers to Massaquoi at a checkpoint decorated with human intestines and an impaled human head. The witness said Massaquoi escorted them to the bridge and it was then he allegedly executed the woman.
Right after the woman’s execution, she told the court Massaquoi beheaded two of her friends.
“He sent for his board and called out my two friends that went with me. He put their necks on the slaughtering board one by one and cut them off,” the witness said.
She added the rest of them were tied up and taken to the Twelfth Houses in Paynesville and put in an abandoned building where several people, mostly young men and women, were also kept. Some community people who heard them cry for help rescued them.
Massaquoi’s trial is held in the District Court of Tampere in Finland for crimes he allegedly committed during Liberia’s second civil war between 1999 and 2003. He denies any wrongdoing.