Malaysian mock tribunal finds Bush, Blair guilty of ‘crimes against peace’

November 24th, 2011 - 1:32 am ICT by BNO News  

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (BNO NEWS) — A Malaysian mock tribunal has convicted former U.S. President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair of ‘crimes against peace’ over the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The symbolic trial began on Saturday at the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCC) in the Malaysian capital. It is part of the Perdana Global Peace Foundation, an initiative by former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad who is an outspoken critic of the Iraq war.

The tribunal, which has no enforcement powers but has called itself an ‘alternative’ to the UN-backed International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Netherlands, charged Bush and Blair with ‘crimes against peace’ for planning, preparing and carrying out the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

“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 tribunal stated in its ruling. A seven-member panel chaired by former Malaysian Federal Court judge Abdul Kadir Sulaiman presided over the trial, although two judges later recused themselves.

U.S. and British troops, along with troops from several other countries, invaded Iraq in March 2003 and toppled the regime of dictator Saddam Hussein within a month. Coalition leaders said the reasons for the invasion were to disarm Iraq of alleged weapons of mass destruction, end Saddam Hussein’s alleged support for terrorism and to ‘free’ the Iraqi people.

The tribunal said it notified both Bush and Blair of the charges but received no response and therefore appointed an amicus curiae to represent the two former leaders. The amicus curiae entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of Bush and Blair.

“The Prosecution has given us convincing evidence that the drums of war were being beaten long before the invasion. Facts were fixed to support the policy,” the tribunal said in its ruling, referring to intelligence reports that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction even though they were never found. “Further, many statements in the books authored by the two accused implicate them in the diabolical plan. The memoirs of the two accused do not provide justification for the war of aggression against Iraq.”

In its ruling, the judges called the Iraq invasion an ‘international crime.’ “It cannot be justified under any reasonable interpretation of international law. It violates the outer limits of laws regulating the use of force. It amounts to mass murder. Unlawful use of force in Iraq threatens to return us to a world in which the law of the jungle prevails over the rule of law, with potentially disastrous consequences for the human rights not only of the Iraqis but of people throughout the region and the world.”

The judges added: “The two accused took the law into their own hands. They acted with deceit and with falsehood. They acted in flagrant violation of international law of war and peace. We therefore find the charge against the two accused is proved beyond reasonable doubt. The two accused are, therefore, found guilty as charged and the two accused are accordingly convicted on the charge.”

The KLWCC said it will pass its findings to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to all countries which have acceded to the Rome Statute. The tribunal also plans to hold trials for former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.

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