The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC) will Monday begin Thematic Hearing for Economic Crimes at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion Monrovia.
Under the theme: "Economic Crimes, Corruption and the Conflict in Liberia: Policy Options for an Emerging Democracy and sustainable peace," the hearing will address the contribution of economic crimes to the conflict including corruption and the illicit exploitation of natural resources.
The hearing will also discuss the correlation between the extractive industry and the fueling of the conflict and appropriate policies aimed at reversing the unauthorized exploitation of the natural resources by individuals, groups and the government for purposes external to the national good.
Particular emphasis will be made on predatory networks and illicit alliances between spurious foreign corporations and fighting forces in Liberia in exploiting natural resources.
Specifically, topics will cover how economic crimes were committed, who committed those crimes, how corporations and individuals aided bad governance and promoted corruption, and how natural resources were exploited and abused.
During the week long hearing, several local and international participants will make presentations on how the economic nature of the conflict helped to sustain and promote the conflict in Liberia.
Presenters will include experts from the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS), the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia and Global Witness.
Also to make presentations are Mr. Silas Kpanan Ayoung Siakor who will speak on the Logging Sector and the Conflict; former deputy Maritime Commissioner Tarty Teh, on the Role of the Maritime Industry in the Conflict; former National Bank of Liberia Governor David Vinton, on the Role of Banking Institution in the Crisis; and former Postal and Telecommunication Minister Mewaseh Paye-Bayee, on the Role of Communications in the commission of Economic Crimes.
Pursuant to the TRC Act of 2005, the commission is mandated to investigate gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law as well as abuses that occurred, including massacres, sexual violations, murder, extra-judicial killings and economic crimes, such as the exploitation of natural or public resources to perpetuate armed conflicts during the period January 1979 to October 14, 2003.
The commission is mandated to determine whether these were isolated incidents or part of a systematic pattern; establishing the antecedents, circumstances, factors and context of such violations and abuses; and determining those responsible for the commission of the violations and abuses and their motives as well as their impact on victims.