Activists in Malaysia plan ‘war crime trial’ of George W. Bush and Tony Blair
Malaysian-led activists will hold a symbolic trial this month for former President George W. Bush and British ex-leader Tony Blair on charges of committing crimes against peace in the Iraq war, the event’s organisers said on Tuesday.
President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2003
Streaming Video: Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal -
The following URL will stream video of each session of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal within 1-2 hours after the specific session has ended. To access this streaming video please go to: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/war-is-a-crime-exhibition
Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal
Schedule of Sessions
Saturday Nov. 19, 2011 9AM – 5 PM Kuala Lumpur time;
Sunday Nov. 20, 2011 9AM – 5 PM Kuala Lumpur time;
Monday Nov. 21, 2011 9AM – 5 PM Kuala Lumpur time;
Tuesday Nov. 22, 2011 9AM – 5 PM Kuala Lumpur time;
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Sessions of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal will also be online on You Tube.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is an initiative of Malaysia’s retired Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who staunchly opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The tribunal will convene a four-day public hearing starting Saturday to determine whether Bush and Blair committed crimes against peace and violated international law in the Iraq invasion, said Malaysian lawyer Yaacob Hussain Marican.
“For these people who have been immune from prosecution, we want to put them on trial in this forum to prove that they committed war crimes,” Yaacob told The Associated Press.
Activists sent information about the charges to Bush and Blair recently but received no response, Yaacob said.
Francis Boyle, an American international law professor based in Illinois, will be among the prosecutors at the hearing, which follows two years of investigations by a Malaysian peace foundation founded by Mahathir that looked into complaints by people affected by the Iraqi war.
The effort is modelled after a 1967 Vietnam War crimes panel convened in Sweden and Denmark by philosophers Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre, Yaacob said. The Vietnam tribunal said the U.S. committed acts of aggression against Vietnam and bombarded civilian targets, but it was mostly ignored in United States.
The Kuala Lumpur tribunal will have a seven-member panel of judges including two retired judges from Malaysia’s highest court, peace activist Alfred Lambremont Webre of the United States and Mumbai-based lawyer Niloufer Bhagwat of India.
If the tribunal finds Bush and Blair guilty, it will enter their names into a symbolic “Register of War Criminals.”
The tribunal is also scheduled to hold a separate hearing next year on charges of torture linked to the Iraq war against former U.S. officials including ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld and ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Yaacob said.
Bush and Blair to be Tried for War Crimes
First time that war crimes charges will be heard against the two former heads of state.
On November 19-22, 2011, the trial of George W. Bush (former U.S. President) and Anthony L. Blair (former British Prime Minister) will be held in Kuala Lumpur. This is the first time that war crimes charges will be heard against the two former heads of state in compliance with proper legal process.
Charges are being brought against the accused by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) following the due process of the law. The Commission, having received complaints from war victims in Iraq in 2009, proceeded to conduct a painstaking and an in-depth investigation for close to two years and in 2011, constituted formal charges on war crimes against Bush, Blair and their associates.
The Iraq invasion in 2003 and its occupation had resulted in the death of 1.4 million Iraqis. Countless others had endured torture and untold hardship. The cries of these victims have thus far gone unheeded by the international community. The fundamental human right to be heard has been denied to them.
As a result, the KLWCC had been established in 2008 to fill this void and act as a peoples’ initiative to provide an avenue for such victims to file their complaints and let them have their day in a court of law.
The first charge against George W. Bush and Anthony L. Blair is for Crimes Against Peace wherein:
The Accused persons had committed Crimes against Peace, in that the Accused persons planned, prepared and invaded the sovereign state of Iraq on 19 March 2003 in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.
The second charge is for Crime of Torture and War Crimes against eight citizens of the United States and they are namely George W Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo, wherein:
The Accused persons had committed the Crime of Torture and War Crimes, in that: The Accused persons had wilfully participated in the formulation of executive orders and directives to exclude the applicability of all international conventions and laws, namely the Convention against Torture 1984, Geneva Convention III 1949, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter in relation to the war launched by the U.S. and others in Afghanistan (in 2001) and in Iraq (in March 2003); Additionally, and/or on the basis and in furtherance thereof, the Accused persons authorised, or connived in, the commission of acts of torture and cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment against victims in violation of international law, treaties and conventions including the Convention against Torture 1984 and the Geneva Conventions, including Geneva Convention III 1949.
The trial will be held before the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, which is constituted of eminent persons with legal qualifications.
The judges of the Tribunal, which is headed by retired Malaysian Federal Court judge Dato’ Abdul Kadir Sulaiman, also include other notable names such as Mr Alfred Lambremont Webre, a Yale graduate, who authored several books on politics, Dato’ Zakaria Yatim, retired Malaysian Federal Court judge, Tunku Sofiah Jewa, practising lawyer and author of numerous publications on International Law, Prof Salleh Buang, former Federal Counsel in the Attorney-General Chambers and prominent author, Prof Niloufer Bhagwat, an expert in Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and International Law, and Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, prominent academic and professor of law.
The Tribunal will adjudicate and evaluate the evidence presented as in any court of law. The judges of the Tribunal must be satisfied that the charges are proven beyond reasonable doubt and deliver a reasoned judgement.
In the event the tribunal convicts any of the accused, the only sanction is that the name of the guilty person will be entered in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicised worldwide. The tribunal is a tribunal of conscience and a peoples’ initiative.
The prosecution for the trial will be lead by Prof Gurdial S Nijar, prominent law professor and author of several law publications and Prof Francis Boyle, leading American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law, and assisted by a team of lawyers.
The trial will be held in an open court on November 19-22, 2011 at the headquarters of the Al-Bukhary Foundation at Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur.
Bush and Blair to be ‘charged’
Perdana Global Peace Foundation president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who initiated the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, said the two former leaders would be charged for crimes against peace for planning, preparing and invading the sovereign state of Iraq on March 19, 2003, in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.
The tribunal would hold the proceedings for four days at No. 88, Jalan Perdana here.
It would be open to the public.
Dr Mahathir said although the two could not be jailed if they were found guilty, society could reject them by not inviting them to talks or events.
“Don’t entertain these people or invite them to give talks,” he said after launching the “War is Crime” exhibition held in conjunction with the tribunal’s efforts to criminalise war.
Dr Mahathir alleged that Blair had lied to the British parliament and the British people.
“What do you want to learn from him? To learn how to lie?” he added.
Dr Mahathir said that voters of countries at risk of going to war should also hold politicians accountable by making them reject war as a way to resolve problems.
Tribunal counsel Avtaran Singh said the “charge” have been served on the two leaders.
“If they are found guilty of the charges, the tribunal would continue with the second charge of torture and war crimes,” he added.
Avtaran said the United Nations Security Council and the International Criminal Court had failed to take action against Bush and Blair.
“Internationally, the system has failed,” he added.
- The Star
KL tribunal to try Bush, Blair for Iraq war crimes
Trial to go on despite absence of response from both leaders
Professor Gurdial S. Nijar will head the prosecution during the trial
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal on Saturday will try former United States president George W. Bush and former British prime minister Tony Blair on a charge of committing crimes against peace during the Iraq War.
Bush and seven top US officials who served under him will also face a separate charge of crimes of torture and war crimes at the tribunal.
The three-day hearing, conducted by seven senior judges headed by retired Federal Court judge Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman, will go on although the two accused leaders and other defendants have yet to respond to the tribunal’s notice.
Datuk Dr Yaacob Hussain Marican, the secretary-general of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War, which is holding the tribunal, said the tribunal was being convened for the third time since 2007.
Yaacob said the tribunal of conscience was modelled on the one convened by philosopher Bertrand Russell in 1966 to try the perpetrators of the Vietnam War.
Yaacob said although the tribunal lacked enforcement powers, it would publish the verdict to get the world community to treat the accused as guilty persons.
“The charges are being brought against the accused by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, which comes under our foundation, following in-depth investigations into complaints received from war victims in 2009.
“The commission acts as a peoples’ initiative to provide an avenue for victims to file their complaints and let them have their day in a court of law.”
Professor Gurdial S. Nijar, a law professor and author of law publications, and Professor Francis Boyle, an American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law, will head the prosecution during the trial.
The trial, to be held in an open court at the headquarters of the Al- Bukhary Foundation in Jalan Perdana here, is open to the public.
In conjunction with the tribunal, Perdana Global Peace Foundation will organise an exhibition, ” War is a Crime”, with a conference on Friday.
Its chairman, Tan Sri Norian Mai, said the conference’s theme, “The Arab Uprising”, to be opened by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, would see speakers such as former US presidential candidate and congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and former United Nations assistant secretary-general Denis Halliday.