Monrovia-Jan-30-TNR: Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson has spoken strongly against the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court (WECC) in Liberia.
Recently during President Joseph N. Boakai’s inaugural address at the Capitol Building in line with the Constitution of Liberia, he disclosed that his government will establish an office that will seek the possibility of establishing the War and Economic Crimes Court.
Senator Johnson who is one of the Head of the Executive Council of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MRD) and a key supporter of the Unity Party during the October 10 Legislative and Presidential Elections and the November 14 runoff on Sunday, January 28, 2024, said the writer of President Boakai speech inserted the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court as a means of targeting him.
According to the former warlord turned politician, President Boakai was not in the know of the insertion of the establishment of the war and economic crimes court something he attributed to President Boakia’s shock when he was addressing the nation.
Speaking at the Christ Chapel International Church Sunday, Sen. Johnson said, “The war is over, we need development. You think those boys that fought before will come and allow you to come and catch us,” he wondered.
The leader of the defunct Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) added, “The war is over, we have been granted amnesty, there are amnesty laws on the book and you are putting on paper that you want to bring war crime court?”
He added that even for the fact that, “You are announcing that you want to bring war crimes court, you scare the people because we have thousands of people who are prepared to defend, if you get after us.”
He told his congregation and the nation that Liberians that at the time when Liberia’s international guests were in the country to celebrate the turning over of the old government to a new government was not the appropriate time to insert such information because of political interest.
The establishment of a war and economic crimes court was one of the political components of the Unity Party campaign when they were in opposition.
Former President George M. Weah defended the reason for which the establishment of the war crimes court was not established saying that it was not the responsibility of the executive but a decision of the Legislature which Senator Prince Johnson is a part.
Prince Y. Johnson was part of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), a warring factor that waged a nearly 14 years of civil conflict on the then government of President Samuel Kanyon Doe on December 24, 1989.
Prince Johnson broke away from the defunct NPFL and founded the INPFL, another warring factor that that captured and later killed President Doe on September 9, 1990.
Based on the level of atrocities committed by various warring factors during the nearly 14 years of civil unrest, Sen. Johnson along with other warlords was recommended for prosecution by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
Since the end of the civil war and the recommendations of the TRC, many Liberians have been calling for a war crimes tribunal to prosecute those who bear greatest responsibility of the war including the Nimba County Senator.