My perspective on former Liberian leader Charles Taylor verdict uttered today in Hague, April 26, 2012

Written by: Thomas P. Mitchell, Executive Director, Youth Action for Peace and Human Rights Liberia (YAPHR), youth4peaceandhumanrights@yahoo.com, +231886442400

As a youth and human rights activist in Liberia, I understand and believe in justice, especially crimes against humanity. I personally believe that perpetrators should or must be held reliable for crimes they have committed, regardless of their race, ethnicity or nationality.
I think the verdict today against Charles Taylor aiding and abetting war crimes in Sierra Leone, has taken a very big turn, especially of been guilty of the 11 counts of charges. I think the court in the Hague (ICC) decision has been politically tempered with, especially from the western power. Sorry to say, but Africans will continuously adhere to western powers, especially western hands establishing a so called “legal and prosecuting” group like the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Let us understand this, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an international and independent criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. Let us comprehend something here, the word “perpetrator” does not mean race, ethnicity or nationality, but rather those who commit crimes and serious crimes. But the ICC now is telling us now that the word “perpetrator” means “African criminals”, excluding western leaders who have aided and abetted wars into other nations, like in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. I think in a broader sense, western leaders must be tried for crimes against people who are innocent and die every day, because of their foreign military groups killing innocent people.

The ICC has rendered a collective verdict today from “dark meetings” decision held and we all know it, that it has been a political conspiracy behind Charles Taylor case, even from the inception. I think this should serve as a serious admonishment to African leaders and the African Union (AU) that is been control by bigger western hands. What can a toothless bulldog like the AU do in such indictments of African leaders by the ICC?

Even though, I believe and quote “The evil men do live after them”, but when justice is been tempered with, especially the high courts like the ICC that should render independent decision as it claims of been independent, than that decision is questionable to the highest. In a nutshell, the verdict rendered today, April 26, 2012 against the former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, is highly questionable, very unfair to the letter, and politically instigated my western powers. I appreciate the professional and legal efforts of the defend council, especially Courtney Griffins, who is the lead defend council.

The ICC has also indicted leaders who allegedly committed crime in their country, especially African leaders, for example Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast and other parts of Africa. In Liberia, we still have perpetrators in higher positions and freely masquerading streets of Monrovia without justice. Maybe the ICC can indict them as well, can’t they?

I think Sierra Leone should and must take responsibilities of their own crimes and prosecute perpetrators according to national and international laws and not involving others who the ICC claims were involved. If you look at the ICC now (http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC/Situations+and+Cases/Cases/), can someone tell me, how many western leaders who have directly or indirectly murdered through their soldiers, looted, reduce the dignity of civilians, are currently indicted under the ICC? I vividly think that the International Criminal Court (ICC) should now be called the “International Conspiracy Court”. The ICC broader motive is seen as justice for perpetrators, but the hidden motive is trail for African leaders. What can a poor child do, when his parents are still feeding, clothing and housing him/her? And that poor child is “Africa”.

“Let the falling of the dry leaf serves as an advice to the raw leaf”.

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Great to meet you through the network. I am Musa Sheriff a Liberian journalist  working for Pan-African news agency panapress.com. I am the Coordinator of West Network  of Africa Human Rights Journalists 

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