Briton accused of Congo war crimes

Sept. 10, 2006 at 11:36 AM

LONDON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- A British man is accused of sanctioning bombing raids during the deadly war in Africa's Congo seven years ago, it was reported Sunday.

The allegations against Andrew Smith came from another Briton who was acting as a United Nations undercover investigator, The Sunday Times of London reported.

Graham Pelham was looking into another company thought to be trafficking in illegal weapons and diamonds but discovered his employer, Avient, an air cargo firm run by Smith, was dropping bombs during the Congo war that killed more than 3 million people.

Pelham said he was put in charge of helicopter gunships and aircraft converted to drop bombs and flown by Avient crews, The Times reported.

Pelham's testimony on Avient is to be presented to prosecutors by Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID), an Oxford-based group advocating corporate responsibility in the Congo. The group is calling upon the prosecutors to initiate an investigation into whether Smith was complicit in war crimes in the Congo, The Time said.

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