The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Opposes War Crimes Court

House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee Chairman Jonathan Fonati Koffa has expressed his opposition to the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court intended to try those who bore the greater responsibility of crimes committed during the Liberian civil war.
He argued that the country lacks the appropriate structure to house the tribunal as well as emphasized the need for the Liberians to reflect both on legal and sober minds of the process in the establishment of the court.
Koffa, Electoral District #2 Representative of Grand Kru County, told the state-owned radio exclusively that the country’s judiciary system does not also have trained lawyers to handle war and economic crimes matters.
Therefore, he continued: “Before anything of such could take place in the country Liberia’s legal practitioners need to undergo training in this jurisdiction. And this is a very long process and costly as well.”
Koffa is among those lawmakers who are openly expressing their opposition to the setting of the extraordinary tribunal or War Crimes Court here to address the question of impunity allegedly committed by individuals during the country’s conflict.
The Representative’s statement came on the heel of recent request made to the lower house (Representatives) by the Presidency asking for advice on how to proceed with the implementation of the TRC findings.
It was also a back-up to the pronouncement made by the President when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Summit in Washington, United States in September (last month) that the government would consult with all stakeholders on the establishment of the Criminal Court in Liberia.
The President told the summit among other things that considering the importance of the matter, the Executive has already begun consultations with the national legislature-the representatives of the people and it intends to broaden engagement with the Liberia judicial system, and with strategic international partners and organizations, in order to determine pertinent issues such as legal framework, timing, venue, and funding, among others.
There are over 200 individuals and institutions listed and stand accused of committing war and economic crimes, and crimes against humanity during the course of the Liberian civil war. They were booked by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) during its 3 years investigation.
For sometimes now, there have been calls from various groupings both at home and abroad to the government to implement the 47 recommendations but the key ones are prosecution of those who committed war and economic crimes respectively.

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