courtesy of  The Liberian Post


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Relations between Liberia and the Netherlands.


The Guus Kouwenhoven Trial
2005 - present



His name is often erroneously spelled as Gus Kouwenhoven, Gus van Kouwenhoven, Guus van Kouwenhoven. His official name is Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven aka Guus Kouwenhoven aka - in Liberia -  'Mr. Gus'.

Will Guus Kouwenhoven spend the rest of his life in a Dutch prison cell?
The Dutch authorities have requested South Africa to extradite 75-years old Kouwenhoven, on the run since his conviction on April 21, 2017 by a Dutch court. On December 19, Kouwenhoven was granted bail and the case was postponed till January 12, 2018.
On that day, Kouwenhoven briefly appeared in court. The magistrate again decided to postpone the case. Court proceedings resumed on February 27, 2018. However, the case was again postponed till April 20, 2018.

On April 20, 2018, 75-year-old Kouwenhoven was absent from Cape Town Magistrate’s Court. According to his attorney, Gary Eisenberg, he is in a Cape Town hospital recovering from surgery on a broken leg. Hence, the case was again postponed until May 25.

Will Guus Kouwenhoven await the final decision of the Cape Town Magistrate Court or will he flee to neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville, whose president Denis Sassou Nguesso is a good friend?


Case three times postponed 
Dutch extradition request still hanging

War criminal 'laid up in Cape Town hospital with broken leg' - case postponed until May 25, 2018.
Times Live - April 20, 2018

Case postponed till April 20, 2018 - Justice minister Michael Masutha had yet to sign the extradition order requested by the Netherlands, Cape Town Magistrate Court was told:
Arms dealer Kouwenhoven wins extra two months in luxury CapeTown home
Times Live - February 27, 2018

Dutch arms dealer case postponed in wait of extradition documentation
News24 - January 12, 2018

December 19, 2017
A Cape Town Magistrate Court grants Kouwenhoven bail, under strict conditions

'Fugitive' Dutch arms dealer linked to Liberian war granted R1m bail in Cape Town
News24 - December 19, 2017

'Fugitive' Dutch arms dealer spotted driving around Cape Town in luxury cars, court hears
News24 - December 12, 2017

Dutch authorities seek extradition of fugitive Dutch war criminal arrested in Cape Town, SA
News24 - December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017
Fugitive Guus Kouwenhoven arrested in Cape Town, South Africa
Fugitive Dutch arms trader linked to Liberian war nabbed in Cape Town
News24 - December 8, 2017

Video of Kouwenhoven's arrest in Cape Town, South Africa, December 8 - YouTube   

May 7, 2017
Convicted war criminal Guus Kouwenhoven on the run!
Liberian Perspectives May 7, 2017

April 21, 2017
Guus Kouwenhoven found guilty

Corporate accountability: Dutch court convicts former "Timber baron" of war crimes in Liberia
A specialized account and analysis - by Dieneke de Vos - April 24, 2017

Dutch arms trafficker to Liberia given war crimes conviction:
Guus Kouwenhoven convicted of selling weapons to ex-president Charles Taylor during wars that involved mass atrocities
The Guardian - April 22, 2017

Timber baron sentenced to 19 years for war crimes:
Dutch Court makes legal history by sentencing timber baron Guus Kouwenhoven to 19 years for war crimes and arms smuggling during Liberian civil war
Global Witness - April 21, 2017

February 8, 2017
Reopening of Kouwenhoven Trial

Reopening of Kouwenhoven trial in the Netherlands
February 8, 2017


Guus Kouwenhoven on trial again - April 20, 2010

Guus Kouwenhoven still faces a travel ban
March 20, 2008

Guus Kouwenhoven acquitted - comments
March 10, 2008

Dutch Court of Appeal finds insufficient evidence to convict conflict timber trader Guus Kouwenhoven
March 11, 2008 (summary only)
All Africa

Dutch prosecutors have called for a 20-year prison sentence on appeal for a timber trader convicted of selling arms to Liberia’s former president Charles Taylor.

Timber trader Guus Kouwenhoven was already convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison by a lower court. On appeal the prosecution is trying to get a higher sentence and a conviction for war crimes.
Februari 12, 2007
Times (sorry, unfortunately no longer available)

Guus Kouwenhoven found guilty of arms trading in Liberia.The Dutch businessman faces eight year in prison after a Dutch court found him guilty of violating a UN arms embargo on Liberia. He was acquitted of charges of war crimes for lack of evidence.
June 7, 2006

Dutchman on trial in Netherlands for West African war crimes. (...) The verdict on Kouwenhoven is expected in June.
May 04, 2006

Guus van Kouwenhoven, a Dutch citizen, was arrested in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on March 18, 2005 and is being prosecuted for committing war crimes against Liberians and violating a U.N. arms embargo.
Source Watch



Oil man's CV of sleaze
The extraordinary relationship between Guus Kouwenhoven ('The Godfather of Liberia') and Emanuel Shaw II
Mail&Guardian November 14, 1997

The Role Of Liberia's Logging Industry on National And Regional Insecurity

Guus Kouwenhoven's involvement in Liberian Logging Companies: the Oriental Timber Company (OTC) and the Royal Timber Corporation (RTC)

"Gus Kouwenhoven, chairman of the OTC, is also affiliated with other concession companies such as the Royal Timber Corporation (RTC), where he acts as Managing Director. It is probable that timber logged by RTC has several 'aliases' in order to obscure actual origin, production and export.

The illicit trade that Gus Kouwenhoven is involved in through the OTC is referred to in the Sierra Leone Expert Panel Report . His involvement means that it is highly likely that RTC is involved in regional insecurity, financing President Charles Taylor and aiding in the shipment of arms to the RUF in the same way as OTC. A Global Witness investigation to France in late March found an abundance of RTC logs. However, given the possibility of RTC assumed names, the likelihood is that French imports of timber logged by RTC is greater that it appeared. One importer admitted to doing business with RTC while another importer, with several RTC logs in his holding area denied knowledge of both RTC and Gus Kouwenhoven.

RTC's concessions in Lofa County are in areas close to and indeed directly affected by the Guinea conflict. Any logging operations in this area require significant armed protection and, by default, this means only those companies closely connected to Gus Kouwenhoven and allied to Taylor can operate here."
(Global Witness, May 2001)

More on Timber Concessions and Concessionaries 



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