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Says President  Weah  Has No Power To Bring War Crimes Court

Nimba County Senator, Prince Johnson has again given conflicting statements as it relates to the establishment of war crimes court in Liberia saying that President George Weah does not have the power to  call for the establishment the court.

In an interview with  one radio station in Nimba county, last week, he said President Weah would not  approve the establishment of the court and also lashed out at those calling for it describing them as belly-driven.

“The president of Liberia has no power to bring it because our war  ended long time before Liberia ratified the Rome status that started the war crimes court.”

Senator Johnson said: “To hell with you(referring to the journalist who interviewed him). I am prepared to face you. Go and bring it-war crimes court.  Your stop embarrassing me.”

He went on in an angry tune like this: “Listen to me. When a deadly virus is  killing people and Nimba county is declared as a dangerous zone, Margibi dangerous zone and Montserrado dangerous zone. Why  can’t we keep your dirty mouths  on war crimes court ….how we will  save our people.”

He said  Liberians were fighting the deadly COVID-19 at  the same time seeking ways to to pay civil servants two months salaries as well as other incentives. “Your leave this war crimes court alone,” he said.

According to  him, he and other lawmakers visited Japan Tokyo in 2006  at a conference on the Rome statue,  which established the war crimes court in the Hague.

He added,  Liberian legislature ratified it either 2006 or 2007  and as such, Liberia was not qualified for such.

He  said, Liberia is a member of the  Hague but, “our war was fought from 1998 to 2003. So that means, Liberia is not on the agenda of the Hague. Liberia is not part of the war crimes court; it will never be because our war ended  long before it was  ratified by the Liberian legislature. So, if you do not know, let me tell you.”

Senator Johnson said; those who are calling for war crimes court, are belly-driven people who go around advocating for war crimes court. But I am telling you as the most senior official from Nimba  and the  father of Nimba county, there will be no war crimes court in Liberia. 

But according to  Parliamentarians for  global Action,( https://www.pgaction.org/ilhr/rome-statute/africa/liberia.html)an international body which writes on international matters such as war crimes, Liberia ratified the Rome Status on September 22, 2004 which it signed in 1998. 

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). … Among other things, the statute establishes the court’s functions, jurisdiction and structure.

According to the PGA, it has worked with Liberian members of of parliament since 2007 to promote the fight against impunity by generating  awareness and political will for the full implementation  of the Rome Statue into  national legislation  and providing technical assistance to to Members of Parliament. Liberia has a special experience with International Justice as its former President Charles Taylor got sentenced to 50 years imprisonment in the Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2012.TNR

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