Are leaders including billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates; Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID); and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), facing the death penalty in a legitimate court of law? No, that's not true: The leaders have been the target of several conspiracy theories since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are not facing criminal charges for their statements or actions related to COVID public health policy.
The claim appeared in the title of a video (archived here) posted to Bitchute and published on February 1, 2022. The title of the video read:
BREAKING! INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNALS START NEXT WEEK! GATES, FAUCI, TEDROS ETC FACE THE DEATH PENALTY!
This is how the video looked on February 3, 2022:
(Source: Bitchute screenshot taken on Thu Feb 3 19:52:37 2022 UTC)
While the title of the video claims that there is an international tribunal launching to investigate prominent leaders of public health, the video does not provide any evidence that Gates, Fauci or Ghebreyesus are actually undergoing a legitimate international tribunal for allegations of "crimes against humanity" or "war crimes." It also does not back up its assertion that the leaders will face potential death penalties.
Beginning at the 24:46 mark of the video, Reiner Fuellmich, a lawyer and member of the COVID conspiracy group the German Corona Investigative Committee, said that after indictments in a traditional court of law, the "real trial" will be held "by the people, for the people" in a "new system." This indicates that it will not take place in an existing court of law.
Fuellmich has previously called for another version of the Nuremberg trials against those involved in public health policy during the COVID pandemic. However, his insistence on a legitimate international tribunal for alleged "crimes against humanity" regarding COVID policies has not come to fruition (Fuellmich's news page is archived here) at the time of writing. Other fact-checking organizations such as Reuters and Check Your Fact debunked a similar claim unrelated to Fuellmich that went viral in 2020.
Lead Stories contacted the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NIAID and WHO for more information on the claim. In emails sent on February 3, 2022, Jamie Rogers, a communications editor for NIAID, said the claim regarding Fauci was not true. WHO informed us that the claim regarding Ghebreyesus is "misinformation/disinformation." We also reached out to the International Criminal Court for more information about whether Gates, Fauci and Ghebreyesus are facing an international tribunal with potential death penalties. We will update this story with any relevant responses from the organizations that have not yet responded to our inquiries.
Lead Stories has previously debunked several other claims found in this video, including that there is no actual COVID pandemic, that the novel coronavirus is no more dangerous than influenza and that PCR tests used to detect COVID are fraudulent.