MONROVIA: In a surprise move to ensure that perpetrators of heinous crimes against humanity during the 14 years brutal civil to account for their deeds, President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has said he will set up an office that will explore the feasibility for the establishment of a war and economic crime court (WECC) just as Senator Nathaniel Farlo McGill of Margibi County is perfecting moves to introduce a bill for the establishment of WECC in the country to end impunity and false accusations.
The assertion from President Boakai was contained in his inaugural address delivered to the Liberian people on Monday, January 22, 2024, where he outlined his priority areas that will be impactful for the country and its people during his tenure.
“We have decided to set up an office to explore the feasibility for the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court (WECC) to provide an opportunity for those who bear the greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity to account for their actions in court”, President Boakai said.
The President contended that an estimated quarter of a million of the Liberian people perished in the war, stressing that “we cannot forever remain unmoved by this searing national tragedy without closure”.
“We shall seek advice and assistance from the Office of the United Nations Secretary General to ensure that the court, if found feasible, will be in compliance with the highest standards of similar courts everywhere. The Legislature will have its say appropriately in this matter in order to avoid any appearance of vendetta or witch-hunt”, the President said.
The call for the establishment of the court which has dominated the Liberian political discourse for some time now and President Boakai is the second high profile public official in recent time under the present dispensation to make a positive statement towards making the court a reality.
The first was Senator McGill who has initiated the measure to actualize the establishment of the court with his vow to urgently introduce the bill so that the Liberian people through their representations in the national legislature will take a firm stand decision towards making the court a reality.
Senator McGill in making the case for the court stated that if established it will not only prosecute people for crimes they may have committed but also to vindicate people who have been wrongly accused.
Speaking to the media recently, McGill said as a victim of false accusations of corruption, he would work with civil society organizations to ensure the establishment of the court to help to vindicate him and others or prosecute them if found guilty.
“People accuse me and many others every day largely based on perceptions,” the former Chief of Office Staff of President Weah lamented. “I want an economic crimes court, including the war crime court. I will work with civil society to ensure that is done. We need to come up with recommendations on the TRC document.”
He also said he will network with his colleagues both in the Senate and the House of Representatives to ensure that the bill when it is introduced will attract the maximum cooperation and understanding of every lawmaker in the country.