President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has submitted to the National Legislature for ratification a Bill seeking to establish and strengthen the legal framework of relevant authorities to adequately protect whistle-blowers and witnesses.
The Bill titled “The Whistle-Blower and Witness Protection Bill”, also seeks to empower the relevant authorities to effectively protect whistle-blowers and witnesses from intimidation, fear, and physical injuries when they alert authorities on acts of corruption and other criminal acts and prosecution is imminent.
In a communication addressed to both Houses of the Legislature, the Liberian leader said when ratified, the Bill will make Liberia compliant with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption ( UNCAC).
The UNCAC calls for all state parties to take appropriate measures for the protection of witnesses, experts and victims against retaliation or intimidation for their testimony.
President Sirleaf indicated that as government strives to deal with the menace of corruption, the passage of the Bill which seeks to create an atmosphere that protects whistleblowers and witnesses will make them free of intimidation and elimination.
She said addressing their fear of physical injuries and other criminal activities whenever an exposure is made will help government achieve its objectives of sustainably minimizing if not eliminating acts of corruption and other serious crimes.
“As Government continuously commits to creating safe living conditions for its citizens and residents, I therefore request your kind and timely consideration to enact into law this important legislation that will protect whistle-blowers and witnesses who alert the relevant authorities on corruptions and other criminal acts perpetrated in Liberia,” the Liberian leader noted.
Meanwhile, both Houses of the Legislature have forwarded the Bill to their relevant committees for perusal and further advise the body.