Can the Consortium leaders be tried in a military tribunal? If the courts in the country are functioning then they should be tried in criminal court. The keyword being FUNCTIONING. And that is the case even in wartime. Last I checked courts in Cameroon were functioning.
Not even terrorists can be tried in military tribunals. Let’s be clear; a terrorist would be tried in military court if he is high profile. E.g if Cameroon invades Nigeria because the latter is known for harbouring terrorists like Boko Haram’s Aboubakar Shekau, and in the ensuing war the institutions of the invaded country (Nigeria) are destroyed then Shekau can be tried in a military court set up by Cameroon in Nigeria. If the terrorist is a low level combatant, he can not be tried in a military tribunal. Such a person knows too little about the organization he works for.
Now the consortium leaders are civilians. Civilians can not be tried in military tribunals when criminal courts are functioning. A country’s courts not functioning is one of the reasons why a civilian will be sent to an international court to stand trial. He must be dealt with by other civilians. E.g Laurent Gbagbo. Military tribunals are set up to court martial soldiers who offend during service. That’s it! If Cameroon insists that they are terrorists then they would be what we call domestic terrorists (people who have carried out acts of terrorism against their own people). Is that the case here? Is a call for civil disobedience classed as an act of terrorism? Who did they commit acts of terrorism against? It is terrorism if your name is Paul Biya and you are a sick demented diaper wearing dictator.
Even the Boston bomber was tried in criminal court. Osama Bin Laden’s son in law was tried in criminal court and he was a top Al Qaeda operative. It is to ensure you get a fair trial from the people you have committed these acts against.
This whole process is a sham. The only reason you would take a lawyer, a teacher, a radio host, a judge etc to stand trial in a military tribunal is to ensure they can’t get proper representation. The judges are soldiers. The prosecution is made up of soldiers.
The defence team is made up of soldiers. Jury all soldiers. Civilians are usually not allowed, unless in extreme cases or as expert witnesses. Pray for the consortium leaders because even with the host of lawyers they have willing and ready to defend them, I fear for them. A great injustice is about to be perpetrated against civilians.
Please add to this write-up if you have any ideas on how and when civilians can be tried in military tribunals.