Former rebel leader of the INPFL, now Senior Senator of Nimba County, Prince Y. Johnson has responded to the United States government’s statement provided by the US Embassy near Monrovia.
Speaking in an interview with the Voice of America, Sen. Johnson expressed shock and astonishment that the embassy would go about branding him as a notorious war criminal when he has not been given any due process.
According to the controversial Nimba senator, whenever someone commits a crime he or she is presumed innocent until the allegation can be proven in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Senator Johnson pointed out that he believes in the legal jurisdiction of the United State of America that doesn’t characterize anyone as such unless they are given due process in a court and is proven guilty.
Johnson went on to say that for the United States to label him as a notorious war criminal is a shock because he served as Chairman of the Committee on National Defense for 12 years during the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf regime and interacted and worked with officials of the United States Army. He wondered why they didn’t have a problem working with him at that time.
Senator Johnson claimed that the United States has violated its own law because he has not been tried in a court of competent jurisdiction. He argues that for them to characterize him as such is a total violation of his rights to due process which is sad and unacceptable.
The US Embassy in a statement issued in Monrovia recently said Senator Johnson’s gross human rights violations during Liberia’s civil wars are well-documented. His continued efforts to protect himself from accountability, enrich his own coffers and sow division are also well known.
The Embassy stated the Liberian Senate would see fit to elevate Johnson to a leadership role, particularly in the area in which he has done this country the most harm creates doubts as to the seriousness of the Senate as a steward of Liberia’s defense and security.
The U.S. Embassy added that they are proud of the longstanding partnership with the Ministry of National Defense and Armed Forces of Liberia which they said will continue to partner with, and they cannot have a working relationship with Senator Johnson.