Home Governance Allen White Slams Domestication Of: War Crimes Court… Says It Should Be In Contact With UN

Allen White Slams Domestication Of: War Crimes Court… Says It Should Be In Contact With UN

by newsmanager

MONROVIA: Alan W. White’s, Co-Executive Director of the Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights, has expressed his opinion about the protection of war actors under Liberia’s domestic laws for War and Economic Crimes Courts.

The international human rights activist advised that under international law proceedings, nobody is immune from prosecution despite claims by various individuals that there was an Amnesty Law passed in 2003 or immunity was given to all parties during the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) in Ghana, 2003 on Liberia.

Speaking with reporters over the weekend in Monrovia, the American international human rights activist stated that the Liberia War and Economic Crimes Court will be established just similar to the then United Nations backed Special Court for Sierra Leone.

The UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone prosecuted individuals under international Law, as such, no individual in Liberia will be immune from prosecution on war crimes charges.

The former Chief Investigator for the Special Court for Sierra Leone further noted that all persons bearing the greatest responsibilities for Liberia’s War and Economic crimes, regardless of status, will be prosecuted.

He debunked earlier claims by some Liberian ex-warlords and politicians that an amnesty law passed in 2003 by the erstwhile Joint Legislature, during the former administration of President Charles G. Taylor, is still in force.
The former Chief Investigator of the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone said the Joint Resolution did not create a War Crimes and Economic crimes court for Liberia.

He contended that it demonstrated the support of both the House of Representatives and the House of Senate, the will of the Liberian people, and now it paves the way for President Joseph N. Boakai to request for assistance from the United Nations on the and establishment of the office of War Crimes and Economic Crimes Court to facilitate and coordinate the establishment of the court.

On the issue of what’s the next step following the singing into law by President Boakai, Dr. White with over 20 years’ experience in international war crimes prosecution told newsmen in Monrovia that President Boakai will now need to issue an Executive Order, directing the establishment of the court and work out all modalities with the both national and international groups, including various governments, such as the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, the European Union, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the United Nations to begin the legal framework and agreement between the government of Liberia and the UN for ratification by the Liberian Legislature and for enactment into law and signed by the President of Liberia.
By this, Dr. White indicates that it will attract greater international support, including the granting by the United Nations the best international recognition, and international legal legitimacy to harness both financial and technical support as one of the best experiences coming out of the Sierra Leone-backed court.

He said the official endorsement by the UN Security Council Resolution supporting the establishment of the court by the agreement with the government of Liberia office of War Crimes and Economic crimes will pave way for the appointment by the United Nations Secretary General the Court’s chief prosecutors, Deputy Prosecutors, and Court Registrars as required under international criminal prosecution proceedings.

Dr. Alan White stated that this has been a 20-year quest for justice for the Liberian people and the estimated 250,000 persons killed during the back-to-back Liberia civil wars.

The court will be located in Monrovia where the people of Liberia can witness justice and accountability first hand.

He said the trials can be streamed live to the people outside Monrovia where they can watch through local and social media sites.

Dr. White envisioned the Judiciary to contain multiple Trial Chambers as well as an Appeals Chambers to expeditiously try cases and address appeal issues.

The special court for Sierra Leone started off with only one trial chambers which slowed down the judicial process significantly.

“So, it is anticipated that having multiple Trial Chambers established early on will expediate the process. These are types of modalities that will be addressed by the Office of War Crimes and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia in consultation with the UN and other stakeholders and using best practices, and lessons learned from the Special Court for Sierra Leone,” Dr. Alan White explained.

Dr. White explained that the Economic Crimes committed during the civil wars can be prosecuted as war crimes under the charges of ‘Pillaging and Looting’, which address the stealing of government funds, government resources, and stealing money or property from individuals.

The crimes that occurred outside the temporary jurisdiction of the court can be prosecuted under Liberian domestic laws in Liberian domestic courts.

Touching on the security of the state amidst the passage of resolutions and subsequent rollout of the War and Economic Crimes Court, Dr. Allen White, firstly lauded members of both Houses of the Liberia Legislature for the endorsement of the War and Economic Crimes Court establishment.

He encourages Liberians that it is the right time to move ahead with healing the wounds that millions of people had suffered. He added most Liberians are faced with post-traumatic stress as a result of the armed conflict which was characterized by rape, gang rape, murder, massacres, disappearances among many others.

Recounting his own experiences from Sierra Leone, Dr. White recalled threats by former Minister of Internal Affairs in Sierra Leone, Chief Hinga Norman, who commended over 10,000 Kamajors as part of those Civil Defense Force (CDF), comprised of Traditional Hunters and his public statement about not being taken to the Special Court.
However, the day of his arrest on March 10, 2003, led to public jubilation and his public trial in Freetown was witnessed and heard by thousands of Sierra Leoneans who got to witness justice for the first time and saw that no one was above the laws of the country.

Alan White: “Despite multiple threats, the trial went without an incident for well over a year and this is the part helped the healing process of the people of Sierra Leone as Chief Hinga Norman was arguably the most powerful man in Sierra Leone at the time because he had all the Security Assets under his command and control.”

“For Liberia, it is up to all Liberians to support the genuine commitment of President Joseph N. Boakai restore genuine peace through the combination of Retributive and Restorative Justice unlike the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for restorative justice,” he stressed.

White said he remains confident that Liberia and victims of injustices and wars will now find answers from war actors for a lasting peace built on respect for the rule of law.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment