By Lennart Dodoo
Monrovia — Dr. Allan White – the investigator who was at the center stage of gathering evidence against jailed President Charles Taylor – has confirmed that there is an ongoing process of evidence gathering on the murder of Hladini devi dasi, an American citizen, during the Liberian war.
“This is one particular individual that has a historic past – the recent revelations and witnesses that are coming forward and eyewitness account allegedly of him executing an unarmed American is just an unthinkable crime – again now it’s for the Americans but also for the Liberians and the historic past we have, we couldn’t tolerate this so we’ll let justice play out” – Dr. Allan White
There are allegations that former leader of the now defunct Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), Prince Johnson, who is now and senator and clergy masterminded the killing, but Rev. Johnson has denied being involved, claiming the accusation was plotted by some political actors wanting his support in the upcoming elections.
But speaking to VOA Nightline on Sunday, White said the investigation into this case and other atrocities committed in Liberia had been going for the last 15 years.
According to Dr. White, there is a need for retributive justice for perpetrators of atrocities committed during the civil war.
“If the investigation proves that this occurred, that will have an impact on this.”
“One of the things that I did want to mention on this – this is not something that’s new, there’s an extensive record of crimes and atrocities that have been committed,” Dr. White said.
White recalled that it took a very long time to get ex-President Charles Taylor and others who have been arrested in connection with atrocities committed during the 14 years of war.
According to White, though Johnson claims to be a changed man, it does not erase the fact that he allegedly committed atrocities during the war for which justice must be served. He, however, added that being a changed man, a clergy, etc. could be factors that can be considered during the sentencing period.
“This is one particular individual that has a historic past – the recent revelations and witnesses that are coming forward and eyewitness account allegedly of him executing an unarmed American is just an unthinkable crime – again now it’s for the Americans but also for the Liberians and the historic past we have, we couldn’t tolerate this so we’ll let justice play out,” Dr. White said.
Senator Johnson recently alleged that the allegation of his involvement in the murder of the U.S. citizen was fabricated due to his refusal to support Presidential candidate Benoni Urey on the request of Washington.
According to Johnson, he and Dr. White met in Accra, Ghana where White informed him that he was a lobbyist for Urey and that Washington was interested in making Urey President for the purpose of business because some close associates of U.S. President, Donald Trump who is also a business, are interested in doing business with Urey here in Liberia.
But debunking Johnson’s allegation, White said, “President Trump and Mr. Urey did not kill anybody and the evidence that I know of that is surfacing did not come from them, it came from Liberians who think enough is enough and would like to see justice.”
The renowned investigator said he was involved in the investigation that led to the 19-year sentence of Guus Kouwenhoven who exploited Liberia’s forest and traded arms in the country during the war.
He added that he was also involved in the gathering of evidence that led to the recent arrest of Agnes Reeves Taylor in the U.K.
He noted that there are other international jurisdictions that are looking at other people who were allegedly involved with Liberia’s war. “So if Liberia can’t do it, there are other mechanisms to make sure that justice is brought to the victims,” he asserted.
Hladini Devi dasi originally named Linda Jury was an American devotee of the Hare Krishna faith who was allegedly killed by Senator Johnson on October 3, 1990 in Caldwell.
She was killed because she reportedly wrote Johnson and his men a letter requesting them to stop the brutal killings.
Accordingly, Johnson was angered by the letter. A well-wisher passed a message to the devotees that Johnson was likely to get rid of them.
At that time, it was too late to leave the temple and take shelter elsewhere, as many of the buildings in the area were either destroyed or being controlled by Johnson’s troops. The devotees stayed at the temple and left their fate in the hands of Lord Krishna.
The death squad arrived in the early morning hours. Johnson and his men carried away by jeep the seven devotees who had been captured.
Two devotees managed to escape through the back door and climb up trees to take cover. Suddenly, those two devotees heard gunshots from the direction of the bridge.
They saw that the captured devotees were being shot by Johnson’s men.
At daybreak, they came down from the tree. Instead of going to the temple, they walked to the river where they saw Hladini’s sari floating on the water. Hladini and five male devotees become martyrs of the Liberian War. Hladini was the first one shot.
Source: FRONT PAGE AFRICA