Leaders of some rights activists branded pro-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who sent a letter to the International Criminal Court (ICC) say the Hague-based court has not responded and the letter in circulation is work of forgery.
The Joint Civil Society Platform on Governance (JCSPG) says it is concerned with the letter in circulation in social media being claimed as response from the ICC to the activists’ letter.
“We would therefore and categorically state that ICC has not yet responded to our letter. The country might wish to note that a courier dispatch was sent on 1st August 2019 and there is no way that would have arrived on the same day,” says the letter signed by Fyson Chozi and Unandi Banda.
The letter says that the basis of the forged letter aims at discrediting the activists who sent the letter to the ICC and create fabrication in a way to make the activists desperate.
“We are pursuing this matter with a lot of professionalism and seriousness it deserves and we have no time for propaganda,” says the letter.
However, some Malawians in various social media platforms say the pro-DPP activists have decided to discredit the purported response letter from the ICC which the activists themselves had authored earlier after propaganda had gone wrong.
The letter in circulation is signed by the court’s second vice president Judge Cuno Tarfusser but the current second VP of the ICC is Marc Perrin de Brichambaut. The signatory of the letter, Cuno Tarfusser, was second VP from 2012 to 2015 which has raised suspicion on credibility of the letter.
Henry Kachaje, a Malawian economist, took to Facebook to say the activists have forged the signature of Tarfusser.
“Forging a signature of a retred ICC judge is a serious offence and indication of serious desperations,” Kachale wrote.
At least 10 human rights defenders have written the International Criminal Court (ICC) to question Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, UTM president Saulos Chilima and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) officials Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence over the post-election violence following the anti-Jane Ansah protests.
But governance expert, Makhumbo Munthali, told Nyasa Times that the allegations being levelled against the HRDC leadership and opposition are completely outside the ICC crimes.
“I doubt if the ICC Prosecutor would find such allegations admissible. Besides, most the issues relating to the elections are currently being addressed by the domestic Courts inclusive cases of violence during demonstrations are within Police attention.
“Informed by the fact that ICC functions as a Court of last resort on specific crimes under its jurisdiction as clearly spelt out in the Rome Statute of ICC, it is likely that these allegations will be dismissed on 2 grounds: a). That they don’t qualify as one of the four crimes of concern under ICC jurisdiction b). That these issues are already being handled at domestic level,” said Munthali.
He continued:“The ICC does not work on ‘possibility’ but rather evidence. These DPP cadets masquerading as human rights activist claim to be raising an alarm of possibility of the four committing crimes against humanity not speculation.”
Meanwhile, Emily Banda has been removed from the list of the signatories after it emerged that the activists forged her signature.
She says she will be consulting her legal team over the forgery issue.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :