• August 28, 2023

BAD NEWS FOR SIERRA LEONEANS CRAVING INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE AGAINST PRESIDENT BIO: ICC MEETING MAY NOT BE RELATED TO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS OF PRESIDENT

BAD NEWS FOR SIERRA LEONEANS CRAVING INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE AGAINST PRESIDENT BIO: ICC MEETING MAY NOT BE RELATED TO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS OF PRESIDENT
Share on

By Kabs Kanu

Cocorioko prides itself in being an investigative newspaper and that is the reason that we are the biggest, most widely read and most trusted source for accurate news on Sierra Leone.

We are not a perfect newspaper and no human institution is ever perfect. We have our short comings but as a bold, defiant, aggressive and uncompromising voice of the people, we do our best to limit or eradicate mistakes in the performance of our job to ensure that we remain as credible and trustworthy as can possibly be.

Yes, anybody riled by the needless shedding of innocent blood by President Bio and fed up with his tyrannical presidency would have definitely justifiably jumped with excitement at news that the International Criminal Court (ICC) had invited President Bio to a meeting at the margins of the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly. The excitement was  heightened by the fact that on August 14 instant , a group of Concerned Sierra Leoneans had staged a massive demonstration at The Hague and presented a petition to the Prosecutor of the ICC , Hon. Karim Khan, calling for investigation of President Maada Bio for crimes of extrajudicial and politically – motivated killings by the Bio government.

However, amidst the excitement which we all expressed, COCORIOKO  still decided to do its job as a newspaper with credibility and live up to its reputation of being an investigative bastion of journalism. We worked our phones frantically to call officials of the ICC, the United Nations and international diplomats and the result of our investigation is that Sierra Leoneans jubilated too early. Bio may yet get into trouble with the ICC. The petition to the ICC will definitely be reviewed and the ICC will definitely get back to the patriotic and concerned Sierra Leoneans who submitted it, but Sierra Leoneans may have to wait a little more for that answer.

BAD NEWS: The ICC invitation to President Bio may not be related to any investigation of President Bio by the ICC. And there are many factors related to this fact.

Firstly, the ICC does not operate as many Sierra Leoneans thought. Inviting the head of state of a country to a meeting at the margins of the UN General Assembly is not the procedure in the operations of the ICC in such a situation.

Secondly, when a petition is presented to the ICC, there is a time frame for a response. The ICC will definitely respond and in that letter they will inform the Concerned Sierra Leoneans that they have received their petition and will look into all the issues in it and that if there is any merit, they will act on them. They will however inform the petitioners that receiving their complaints is not an assurance that they will consider the case.

Thirdly, the ICC, through the Rome Statute, was established to prosecute three major crimes: war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Aggression against a neighbouring country has now been added to it. However, it is worth noting that the threshold established for these crimes to be prosecuted by the ICC is very high (I will have to write a special article on this). For crimes against humanity, for instance, the crimes have to be widespread and targeted. I will elaborate in Part 2 of this article.

So, that is the bad news. I would have hesitated to share my findings after my investigations but I consider my credibility and respect more important than the expected bashing from supporters of the SLPP, who operate by their own rules and once they have marked you out as somebody against the doings of their party, will hound you even for doing the right thing. My credibility and respect are however more important so SLPP supporters can go on and insult me for my initial excitement, which I consider normal for somebody who detests the needless blood President Bio has shed in Sierra Leone. I have satisfied that I have done my job to the best of my ability. I seek no praise or applause for doing my job. What is important to me are my credibility and respect.

SEE PART 2 coming

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *