U.S. Investigators in Liberia Gathering Evidence on Prince Johnson’s Alleged Murder of American Woman
Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson, now a senator highly revered in his county is one of the most infamous former rebel leaders masquerading in government, now opting to be President of the republic.
“Prince Johnson may not get away with this one."Forces of his Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) captured, tortured and killed then President Samuel Kayon Doe in 1990.
"After sufficient evidence is gathered on this matter, an indictment would be drawn against him and he would be arrested for prosecution in the States” – A High Profile Security Source
He boasted at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearings of exhuming the body of the slain President Doe, cremating it and sending it loose into the St. Paul River.
But he denies killing innocent people despite being listed by the TRC as one of the most notorious perpetrators of the Liberian civil war.
But one crime Senator Johnson may not escape easily is the alleged murder of Hladini devi dasi originally named Linda Jury from Michigan, United States. She was one of the renowned devotees of Hare Krishna.
This incident occurred on October 3, 1990.
FrontPage Africa has been tipped that investigators are on ground gathering evidence and taking testimonies from eye witnesses for an indictment that would lead to his arrest.
Liberia may not be ready for war crimes court, but perpetrators of atrocities of the 14 years of civil war are certainly not off the hook as deeds of their past still haunt them.
Last weekend, former wife of ex-President Charles Taylor, Agnes Reeves Taylor, was arraigned before a British court in London on charges of torture allegedly committed during between 1989 and 1991 after her sudden arrest on Thursday morning in east London. She had built a strong reputation as a formidable corporate business executive in the UK.
Her former husband, Taylor, currently serves a 50-year jail term in a British prison for war crimes committed in Sierra Leone.
In 2014, Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu who had built reputation as a family man, a business owner, and an active member of Delaware County's Liberian expatriate community in the four decades since he immigrated to the States was labeled war criminal by federal prosecutors.
According to his indictment, Woewiyu lied on his U.S. citizenship application about his close ties to former Liberian President Charles Taylor. The former Defense Minister and a member of Taylor’s NPFL was charged with perjury.
In September 2014 the commander and overseer of Operation Octopus (October 15, 1992), Martina Johnson, was arrested in Ghent, Belgium.
As part of the operation, a heavy artillery unit shelled residential areas throughout the four-month offensive, and allegations of torture were made that stood out even in a war characterized by mutilations and mass rapes.
Johnson was first placed in pre-trial detention but was then put under house arrest and has to wear an electronic bracelet whilst awaiting her court date.
To date, Johnson still denies these allegations.
In April 2016, the United States Attorney in Philadelphia unsealed an indictment against Mark Jabateh, a former rebel leader of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia (ULIMO). He faces fraud and perjury charges stemming from his immigration to the United States in the late 1990s.
Jabbateh was a high-ranking officer of the United Liberation Movement for Democracy in Liberia (ULIMO) and then its splinter group ULIMO-K during the West African country’s turbulent civil wars of the early to mid-1990s.
His trial is yet to be concluded.
Is It PYJ’S Time?
An intelligence source told this paper so far about six eye witnesses have given testimonies into Sen. Johnson’s alleged killing of Hladini.
“This case has been pending for a very long time now. The State of Michigan does not have any statute of limitation, therefore, a lot of people — even Johnson — may have forgotten about this incident but the State hasn’t.
"He will be prosecuted,” the source said.
According to our source, the agents are still locating more witnesses of the gruesome murder.
“Prince Johnson may not get away with this one. After sufficient evidence is gathered on this matter, an indictment would be drawn against him and he would be arrested for prosecution in the States,” the highly placed intelligence source added.
The death squad, believed to be controlled by Johnson, arrived at the Hare Krishna temple in Monrovia in the early morning hours of October 3, 1990, and ordered the devotees to come out. Seven devotees, five men and two women, exited the temple and filed into the waiting jeep.
They were driven to Stockton Creek, where the devotees were forced out at gunpoint and herded onto the sand next to the river. The leader announced that only the men would be killed. Thus Hladini, a woman, knew she would not be killed.
According to reports, as the leader [Johnson] raised his weapon to fire the first execution volley, Hladini leaped forward and attacked him with her bare hands. She shouted, “How dare you kill the devotees of Krishna? Better you kill me than kill them!” Hladini was the first to be shot.
Hladini arrived in Monrovia in 1990 when the country was entrenched in a fratricidal civil conflict.
The warlords of the several rivaling parties were fighting for power, while there was widespread starvation amongst the people. Seeing the suffering of the people, the devotees of the Hare Krishna temple in Monrovia approached the warlords and arranged to start a Food for Life program.
Johnson controlled Monrovia at the time agreed to the proposal and the devotees began the free food distribution program. Johnson visited the temple more than once and received a religious welcome.
As the war intensified, the US government ordered all US citizens to evacuate the country. Hladini had to decide whether to stay in Monrovia or return to safety in Nigeria.
True to her nature, Hladini’s compassion and mercy for others outweighed any concern she had for her own safety. She opted to stay.
Hladini was the only senior devotee in Monrovia, and her presence gave solace to the native African devotees who could not leave.
On June 14, 1990, Hladini wrote in a letter to Radhanath Swami, a friend:
“[T]here is never a dull moment. Now I’m stranded in Liberia in the middle of a war to overthrow the government.
The airport has been seized and they asked all Americans and foreigners to leave the country immediately. American marines sent 6 battleships and 2000 Marines to evacuate the citizens.
I’m just going to assist the devotees through the hard times.
There’s scarcity of food as all the roads are blocked and no supplies can come in. 150,000 people fled the country in the last few weeks. Every day at least 10 people get beheaded and the rebels are still 35 miles from the city.”
She decided to write Johnson and his men a letter, asking him stop killing people, according to the account.
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.
“When we heard in New Vrindaban that there had been a coup in Liberia and Hladini was trapped, the whole community came together at the Palace of Gold and prayed,” remembers Manasa Ganga."
“When we heard Haldini had been killed, it was a huge shock. We held a memorial service and everyone came because she was one of the most loved devotees in the community. She always had a smile on her face and she was always ready to help out.
“Nothing was ever a bother,” said Manasa Ganga with a sad smile."
“For Hladini, taking care of others was always a pleasure. That’s what she gave her life for – taking care of others.”
It is, however, not clear how early the Grand Jury of Michigan would come up with an indictment against Sen. Johnson, but sources say as such may be done immediately after the return of the federal agents.
Johnson has become a prelate himself. “Invite me your church,” he bragged at his overwhelmingly attended TRC appearance, “and the Holy Spirit will fill it.
He told his congregation in 2015 sermon aired on Fabric Radio 101.1 FM that he had received a revelation from God telling him to inform President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to implement audit reports, not the TRC recommendations.
Full article accredited to Front Page Africa