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Prima Facie Case Established Against Bush And Blair

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Sheria (The Law Forum)' started by Daudi Mchambuzi, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Daudi Mchambuzi

    Daudi Mchambuzi JF-Expert Member

    Nov 22, 2011
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    [TD="class: fulltext, width: 500"]The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (Tribunal) entered its third day of hearing war crimes charge of Crimes against Peace against George W Bush (former U.S. President) and Anthony L Blair (former British Prime Minister) in Kuala Lumpur.

    With the close of the Prosecution’s case, the Defence opened the proceedings to argue that there is no case to answer. The Tribunal will decide if there is a prima facie case established against the accused. Some of the points submitted and argued are stated in the following paragraphs.

    The Defence responded to the Prosecution’s case. War crimes are difficult to comprehend especially in a distant land. Persons accuse of war crimes are innocent until proven guilty. Some of the documents tendered fall under the hearsay rule. And the Tribunal assured counsels that it had taken note of that and was aware of the same and would take into account the relevant credibility and weight to be attached to such documents.

    The Defence submitted that there is no case to answer and argued their stand. The argument raised was one on the doctrine of ‘responsibility to protect’ raises the moral and legal obligation to protect people facing aggression. In 1999, US and NATO intervention in Kosovo was to prevent genocide and was carried out without UN approval. The circumstances required such an action.

    The Defence also raised the argument of self-defence. Anticipatory self-defence is permissible under the UN Charter Article 51. The Defence argued that pre-emptive strikes are permissible once a state is certain and believes that another state is about to attack it militarily. Examples cited in support of the use of this doctrine are when Israel attacked on Egypt in 1967 and the attack on Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981.

    Anticipatory self-defence arises when war is unavoidable, the response must be proportional and the threat must be immediate. Bush had fulfilled these preconditions as stated in his memoirs where he said that the use of force against Iraq was the last option and that all diplomatic measures must be exhausted. And cited Iraqi acts of hostility including the firing at US planes enforcing the no fly zone in 2002. The non-compliance with the UN resolutions on weapons inspection and the immediate threat of WMD that was believed that Iraq possessed.

    Saddam Hussein had inflicted acts of aggression and violation against his own people. UN Security Council Resolutions 660 and 678 (pertaining to the invasion of Kuwait) were for Iraq to comply with its international obligations. The failure of Iraq to comply with these resolutions was the background for the passing of UN Security Council Resolution 1441.

    That Iraq had attacked its own people such as the Kurds and Shiites including the use of chemical weapons is well documented. And humanitarian intervention is justified.

    The Defence argued that the attack on Iraq is justified based on the UN Security Resolution 1368 and 1373 that were passed after the 9/11 attacks. These resolutions affirmed the right of nations to defend against acts of terrorists and combat with any means the threat of terrorists’ acts. It was submitted based on US government documents that Iraq had a link with terrorism through terrorist operations in Kurdish areas and against Western nations including the US.

    In 1998 there were mass killings in Kosovo by the state. There was no UN support for the intervention. The US unilaterally launched an intervention on humanitarian grounds. The UN did not condemn this intervention. That is a tacit approval of the humanitarian intervention doctrine.

    The Saddam Hussein regime had used murder as a tool of terror and control. The UN Security Council Resolution 1483 (23 May 2003) was tacit approval of the invasion of Iraq.

    The Prosecution responded that all the issues raised by the Defence in no way justified the actions of the accused. Authorities or documents relied upon were essentially, US government agencies.

    There is no doctrine of ‘responsibility to protect’ and ‘humanitarian intervention’. These supposed doctrines go against the UN Charter and are therefore, unlawful. The entire conduct of both the accused was one of illegally waging war to effect regime change. And this is a Crime against Peace. The evidence submitted by the prosecution clearly shows a policy and planning dating years before the 2003 invasion. There is no issue of any humanitarian intervention. And both the accused had participated in this planning and ordering action.

    There is no issue of self-defence where the right to strike pre-emptively arises. There was no issue of anticipatory self-defence. Iraq was not about to wage war nor was it threatening to wage war. This is a groundless assertion. 9/11 was used as a pretext to wage war against Iraq after Afghanistan. The plans to attack Iraq were drawn before 9/11. Bush and Blair continued to further their agenda of effecting regime change.

    Saddam Hussein had carried out killings of his people in the 1980s through the use of chemical weapons. There was no action on these matters at the relevant time on grounds of humanitarian intervention. And there was real immediacy in 1988. Instead the invasion in 2003 resulted in the death of 1.4 million Iraqis. This certainly was not about protecting the Iraqis’ human rights.

    There is no link between terrorism with Iraq. There is no evidence submitted on this.

    The Prosecution had submitted that not only have they established a prima facie but have proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt on the guilt of the accused.

    After deliberating, the Tribunal made a unanimous finding that prima facie case has been made out against both the accused. The accused are now to enter their Defence.

    The matter was adjourned till the following morning at 9.00am.

    The trial is being held in an open court from November 19-22, 2011 at the premises of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW) at 88, Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur.

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