U.S. issues sanctions against Liberian senator over acts of corruption

Pedestrians walk across a bridge on the road to Janzon in Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. Liberian politician Yormie Johnson was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury on Thursday over purported acts of corruption. File Photo by Glenna Gordon/UPI

Dec. 11 (UPI) — The United States has issued punitive sanctions against Liberian politician Yormie Johnson for purported corruption.

The sanctions by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control against Johnson, 69, are part of a larger group of deterrents against 15 people or organizations.

The Treasury said the former Liberian rebel leader was responsible for the murder of onetime Liberian President Samuel Doe in 1990. He’s also named in Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Report as someone who committed human rights atrocities during the country’s first civil war.

U.S. officials say Johnson was involved in “pay-for-play funding” with various Liberian ministries, and earned an undeserved salary while posing as an intelligence source.

They also say Johnson sold votes in multiple Liberian elections.

“Corrupt acts take resources from citizens, undermine public trust, and threaten the progress of those who fight for democracy,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement Thursday.

“Treasury is committed to countering those who seek personal enrichment at the expense of the people who trust them to serve — especially in the middle of a global pandemic. We are taking these actions today to expose and hold corrupt leaders accountable.”

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption, passed in 2003, aims to raise public awareness and recognizes Dec. 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day.


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