Reparation Will Be Resisted, If...
The April 26, 2012 guilty verdict passed against the former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor by Chamber II of the Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting in The Hague has been described as one that was long anticipated.
The former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, now Bong County District #1 Representative J. Togbah Mulbah of the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change told this paper Monday that Taylor’s indictment, arrest, detention and prosecution were politically influenced by the west, and that his guilty verdict was of no surprise to many people in Liberia, including himself.
“Should there be anything like reparation for Sierra Leone, America and the UK will shoulder that responsibility because they undertook their project and not the Liberian Government,” Legislator Mulbah told a New Dawn interview.
Also reacting to the guilty verdict, the Chairman of the Committee on National Defense of the House of Representatives, George S. Mulbah noted that it would unthinkable for anyone to bring before the Liberian Legislature the issue of reparation to Sierra Leone if required by the Court.
Chairman Mulbah described the Court as a Sierra Leonean Court established by the Laws (Parliament) of that country backed by the United Nations, and that Liberia was never a signatory to that Court and will therefore not be “mixed up” in such thing as paying reparation.
“There should be nobody dreaming about the Liberian Government paying money or whatever to Sierra Leone because they themselves know that we were never a signatory to that Court. We will resist any attempt to make the Liberian Government to pay reparation-it will not work here at this Legislature,” the House Committee Chairman on National defense said.
He described Taylor guilty verdict as not only politically motivated, but a sad day for Liberia it was something demeaning happening to the country as evidenced by the “rainbow which encircled the sun” on the day of the ruling.
The two Liberian Legislators further noted that thousands and thousands of Liberians across the country mourned the day because of Taylor may have been a victim of the circumstances involving western economic interest in Liberia, as evidenced by the current debate on the country’s oil.
Immediately following the verdict on April 26, an executive of the ruling Unity Party, David Kortie told a live BBC interview in Monrovia that the fact that Taylor was a former President of Liberia, it was a sad moment for the nation and its people.
Kortie describe the entire process as a “make up and manipulation“by certain western powers to eliminate Taylor.
Former President Moses Z. Blah, in reaction to the verdict, told a Monday, April 30 BBC interview that he should not be held responsible because his testimonies were never intended to entrap Taylor.
He claimed to have been threatened with indictment by the Prosecution of the Special Court for Sierra Leone had he failed or refused at the time to honored its invitation to testify against his predecessor.
“Being that I was threatened with an arrest warrant I was forced to go and testified, but not at my own freed mind,” the former president noted.
Many listening to radio stations and watching television in Bong, Margibi, Lofa and Nimba Counties looked on in tears and sorrow after Judge Richard Lussick of the Republic of Samoa and chamber II of the Court read the ruling.
The early morning sunny weather had also become very mal with the sun completely in the middle of a rainbow just as it was in Monrovia for several hours during and following the BBC live broadcast.
Some Liberians claimed that the nation was mourning the decision of the International Court against their former president, as others said justice was being aborted, and that it was only God’s intervention that could have set Taylor free.
Expressing their concerns about the timing of the ruling by the Special Court, many harbored the belief that it was actually a “gift for the Sierra Leoneans” because the ruling against their former President was made on the eve of Sierra Leone’s Independence Day which was on Friday, April 27.