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Cheapoo: I Had No Involvement in Chesson's Murder

A weeping former chief justice told commissioners of the Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) he had no involvement in the death of his foster father former justice minister Joseph Chesson.

Chea Cheapoo, a member of the Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL) who emerged from detention on April 12, 1980 to succeed Mr. Chesson, denied reports that he had complicity in the execution of the attorney general of the Tolbert administration.

"I was not a man who will kill my foster father. I did not have any animosity for him and Chesson did not hate me. God knows that I did not have any role in killing my father, Chesson," a sobbing Cllr. Cheapoo said.

Weeping profusely Cheapoo continued: "Let God strike me if I took part in his murder. They got my name all over that I killed the man that educated me. I am not a killer. When I lay in my bed every night this thing is haunting me. I am not a murderer.

He said Mr. Chesson was a role model and trail blazer in his legal pursuit and denied any knowledge of his execution. "Chesson helped me to be where I am. He fed me. He clothe me. Papa Chesson helped me to be a lawyer," the former attorney general said in tears.

Cheapoo was testifying Tuesday at the ongoing TRC Thematic and Institutional Public Inquiry Hearings at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion on Ashmun Street in Monrovia.

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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This had been the official website of the Liberian TRC. The Commission ended operation
in 2010. This website is maintained by the Georgia Institute of Technology.