Former presidents are being investigated, prosecuted and even jailed worldwide. In Bolivia, ex-President Jeanine Áñez was arrested on terrorism, conspiracy and sedition charges on March 13. A week before, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced to prison for corruption and influence peddling. Israel's sitting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently on trial. Jacob Zuma, the former president of South Africa, faces trial in May. And in the U.S., New York prosecutors are investigating former President Donald Trump’s business dealings. At first glance, prosecuting current or past top officials accused of illegal conduct seems like an obvious decision for democracy: Everyone should be held accountable and subject to the rule of law.
But, "...if the prosecution of past leaders is brought by a political rival, it can lead to a cycle of prosecutorial retaliation."