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Wilfred Clarke Told Robert Phillips To Implicate Ellen In November 12...Rev. Roberta Phillips Testifies

Former police director Wilfred Clarke told slain civil engineer Robert Phillips to implicate then opposition politician Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in the November 12, 1985 abortive invasion, a sister of the engineer said.

Reverend Roberta A. Phillips said in a secret communication from his Post Stockade detention cell, to her and her mother, Phillips informed them how Mr. Clarke who was director of police in the Samuel Kanyon Doe government had compelled him while being tortured to name Madame Johnson-Sirleaf, now President, as one of the key architect to the failed invasion led by People's Redemption Council (PRC) strongman, the late General Thomas G. Quiwonkpah.

Rev. Phillips was testifying Thursday at the ongoing TRC Institutional and Thematic Public Hearings at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.

She said Mr. Phillips informed them that Clarke made the proposition while security officers tortured him on his testicles.

Rev. Phillips: "He told my mother and me that Wilfred Clarke threatened him that if he did not confessed that Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was part of the coup even the Americans would not save him."

The prelate said that Mr. Phillips trouble began during the counting of the ballots of the 1985 elections when then Elections Commission Chairman Emmet Harmon accused him of cheating during the count. She said Harmon's statement led to her brother being pursued by security men until his brutal death on January 4, 1990.

She said following the murder of Mr. Phillips, government investigators only appeared on the scene at 3:00 pm, saying that Edward Slanger was among those who came to the house but later disappeared after she made comments that were disparaging for his presence.

She recounted how following the death of Phillips death squads of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) led by Captain Wonpue Tailey went on a killing spree, killing their mother Madame Georgia B. Coleman, uncle, 16 years old daughter and a host of other relatives and friends.

"My brother, mother, uncle, 16 years old daughter and other relatives were killed for nonsense," she said in an emotional tone.

She said the soldiers broke into her mother's house under the cover of darkness and marched she and other relatives for execution.

Under the theme: "Understanding the Conflict Through its Principal Events and Actors," the ongoing hearings will address the root causes of the conflict, including its military and political dimensions.

The hearings are focused on events between 1979 and 2003 and the national and external actors that helped to shape those events.

The TRC was agreed upon in the August 2003 peace agreement and created by the TRC Act of 2005.

The TRC was established to "promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation," and at the same time make it possible to hold perpetrators accountable for gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law that occurred in Liberia between January 1979 and October 2003.

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