A War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia has found former US President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair guilty of war crimes for their roles in the Iraq war by PressTV
The five-panel Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal decided that Bush and Blair committed genocide and crimes against humanity by leading the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a Press TV correspondent reported on Tuesday.
In 2003, the US and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law and under the pretext of finding weapons of mass destruction allegedly stockpiled by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
The Malaysian tribunal judges ruled that the decision to wage war against Iraq by the two former heads of government was a flagrant abuse of law and an act of aggression that led to large-scale massacres of the Iraqi people.
Bombings and other forms of violence became commonplace in Iraq shortly after the US-led invasion of the country.
In their ruling, the tribunal judges also stated that the US, under the leadership of Bush, fabricated documents to make it appear that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
However, the world later learned that the former Iraqi regime did not possess WMDs and that the US and British leaders knew this all along.
Over one million Iraqis were killed during the invasion, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.
The judges also said the court findings should be provided to signatories to the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court, and added that the names of Bush and Blair should be listed on a war crimes register.
Chief Prosecutor of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission v George W. Bush & Anthony L. Blair
Criminal Proceeding No 1-CP-2011
Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Corum: Judge Abdul Kadar Sulaiman, Judge Salleh Buang, Judge Tunku Sofiah Jewa, Judge Alfred L. Webre, Judge Shad Saleem Faruqi.
Prosecution: Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar, Prof Francis A. Boyle, Avtaran Singh, Usha Kulasegaran, Gan Pei Fern.
Amici Curiae: Jason Kay Kit Leong, Sook Kok Weng, Pan Shan Ping, Mohd Zharif Shafiq, Zyzan Syaidi, Muhammad Khirul.
Registrar: Musa Ismail.
22 November 2011.
UNANIMOUS VIEWS AND FINDINGS
The two accused, George W Bush and Anthony L. Blair, at the material times the Heads of Government of the United States of America and the United Kingdom respectively, have been charged by the Chief Prosecutor of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission with having committed CRIMES AGAINST PEACE, in that they have planned, prepared and invaded the sovereign state of Iraq on 19 March 2003 in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law. The Particulars of the Charge state, inter alia, that on 19 March 2003, the two accused launched a war against Iraq without the sanction of the United Nations and without just cause whatsoever.
The two accused were not present at the proceedings though duly served. Nor were any attorneys or counsel present in their behalf. Pursuant to Article 15 of the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission & the Rulesof Procedure and Evidence of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as “the Charter”), an Amicus Curiae was appointed by the Tribunal to assist the Tribunal by presenting an unbiased assessment of the charge and evidence against the accused.
The Amicus Curiae entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of both the accused.
. 1.Recusal of Judges
At the commencement of the proceedings, the Tribunal had a full bench of 7 Judges. However, Judge Prof Niloufer Bhagwat and Judge Dato‟ Dr Zakaria Yatim later recused themselves, and the Tribunal proceeded to hear the case with a quorum of 5 Judges.
. 2.Preliminary Objection on Jurisdiction
Amicus Curiae Jason Kay Kit Leong raised a preliminary objection that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear the case. After listening to arguments by the Chief Prosecutor and the Amicus Curiae, the Tribunal ruled that it has jurisdiction and the proceedings then continued.
Under Article 7 of Part I of the Charter, the Tribunal shall have jurisdiction not only in respect of crimes against peace, but also in respect of crimes against humanity, crime of genocide and war crimes.
It is the undisputed facts of the case that the first accused had contemplated invading Iraq as far back as 15 September 2001 and had confided in the second accused of this intention. In 2002, the two accused, without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council, had directed air strikes against Iraq in order to degrade Iraq‟s air defences, in preparation for its invasion in 2003. A memorandum of the UK cabinet dated July 23, 2002 (known as the “Downing Street Memo”) had recorded a meeting between the second accused and his intelligence officials.
On November 8, 2002, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1441. The text of this Resolution clearly does not authorise the use of military action to compel its compliance. Both the accused would have been fully aware of the limitations of this Resolution.
The second accused had admitted whilst giving his testimony at the Chilcot Inquiry on 14 January 2011 that his Attorney General, Peter Goldsmith, had advised that a second Security Council Resolution is necessary under international law to authorise the use of military force against Iraq.
It is also an established fact that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The two accused had over the years since the Iraq war admitted that they knew or believed the intelligence reports on Iraq‟s WMD to be unreliable. Yet both accused proceeded to wage war on Iraq based on a false and contrived basis.
More than 1.4 million Iraqis have been killed (and continue to die) as a direct and indirect consequence of the war waged by both accused against Iraq,