MONROVIA, LIBERIA-The Leadership of the Liberian Senate wants President George Weah to continue with the Palava Hut mechanism, as enshrine in the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Report.
Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie said:” Though the Senate Leadership recognizes the right of Liberians to call for a War Crimes Court, it must be determined by all Liberians, including those described as silent majority.”
The Senate Pro-Tempore spoke on Thursday, June 24, 2021, on behalf of the Leadership of the Senate at the start of a debate on a report advising President Weah on the implementation of the TRC Recommendations.
The Pro-Tempore emphasized the need for separation from a war crimes court and an economic crimes court, as there are domestic laws to prosecute economic crimes.
The Senate Leadership also wants President Weah extend an olive branch to victims of the Liberian Civil War on behalf of the Liberian people.
The Leadership of the Liberian Senate is further recommending the establishment of a trust fund for victims of the civil war.
However, members of the Liberian Senate have expressed diverse views on the Senate Leadership advice to President Weah, on the implementation of the TRC recommendations.
During the debate, Grand Bassa County Senator, Jonathan Kaipay, agreed that economic crimes can be prosecuted under local laws, but stressed that those that brought mayhem to Liberia should account under whatever justice system.
River Gee County Senator, Jonathan Sogbie, praised the recommendations contained in the report but added that the public might perceive it as shielding war actors.
For his part, Sinoe County Senator, Milton Teahjay, expressed his support for the establishment of a war crimes court, but said Liberia does not have funds to finance the court, as it is expensive.
Also speaking, Rivercess County Senator, Wellington Gevon Smith expressed concern about Liberia’s capacity to establish such court and the Country’s detention capacity.