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Nov 22, 2011
@ 6:44 am
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TRIBUNAL FINDS BUSH AND BLAIR GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES

PRESS RELEASE


TRIBUNAL FINDS BUSH AND BLAIR GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES


KUALA LUMPUR, 22 November 2011 -
 The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (Tribunal) entered its fourth and final 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. For the first time a war crime charge has been heard against these two former heads of state in compliance with due legal process, wherein complaints from war victims had been received, duly investigated and formal charges instituted by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (Commission). 

The Tribunal had decided the previous day that a prima facie case had been made out against both the accused. The Defence team presented their case and submission defending the accused. Some of the points submitted and argued are stated in the following paragraphs. 

The Defence adopted their prior submissions and proceeded to raise additional grounds, relying additionally on the memoirs of the first and second accused. The Defence highlighted that as an amicus curiae, his function is to assist the Tribunal by raising points of law that are in doubt and to organise information or raise awareness of some aspect of the case that the Tribunal otherwise may miss. 


No one knows what it is like to have the weight of the nation on his shoulders except a head of state. Both the accused, as former heads of state, took their nations to war. The question now is whether their actions amounted to the offence of Crimes against Peace. Did they ‘plan, prepared and invaded Iraq on 19 March 2003 in violation of the UN Charter’? 
 
9/11 changed the world and cast it into a new atmosphere of fear. The world would be a different place. The Prosecution objected to the Defence attempts to show a video recording of the 9/11 attack, as there is no factual basis for the association of 9/11 with Iraq. The fact that the war occurred had been admitted. The war has taken its toll. The question is, was a crime committed by the accused. The Tribunal ruled that it has taken judicial notice (not having to tender evidence to established a fact) of the 9/11 attack and there was no need for the showing of the video.
 
The Defence submitted, that the first accused in his memoirs, on the issue of the absence of WMD, the accusation that ‘Bush lied, and people died’, would be illogical because he would not lead his nation to war on a lie which would be easily discernable after the war.  
 
The second accused in his memoir said that he understood the need for the 2nd UN resolution for political legitimacy but knew the difficulty in getting one due to the politics within the UN Security Council permanent members. And also that there was no UN resolution for the action in Kosovo. While the first accused was of the view that Saddam had not adhered to numerous UN Security Council resolutions 
 
There was a moral ground that many critics of the war do not appreciate. Liberating the people of Iraq from Saddam seems to be lost on the critics. The Defence also referred that the first accused had said that Saddam was a threat. Saddam had invaded two neighbours, Iran in the 1980s and Kuwait in the 1990s. He had killed his own people. Had used chemical weapons. Had links with terrorists. And Saddam was developing WMD. And after 9/11, Saddam was a threat that could no longer be ignored. 
 
Some have seen the brutality of war while many are fortunate to have experienced peace. In any event the Defence urged the Tribunal to evaluate the evidence and return a verdict of non-guilty. 
 
Prosecution in their reply stated that everyone has a right to lead unmolested lives governed by law. And in the case before the Tribunal that law is international law. We have to adhere to treaties and conventions that govern international relations. From the documents tendered the first accused had conducted himself in manner that showed that he had decided to invade Iraq long before 2003. And this is also evident from his memoir, which amounts to an admission.
 
In a criminal trial such as this, there are two elements that need to be proven. The actus rea (the act), which was the war, which is an accepted fact. The mens rea (intention) is shown clearly from the planning and preparation as early as November 2001 when he had asked his Secretary of Defence to draw up plans for the invasion of Iraq.  And that in September 2002, the Defence Secretary had informed the first accused, who was the commander in chief that it would take six months to mobilise for invasion. On 4 November 2002, the UN resolution 1441 was passed and the invasion was launched on 19 March 2003. On 17 March 2003 the first accused stated “…Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing”. And on 19 March, the ‘shock and awe’ campaign called Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched. 
 
The same is true of the second accused who had attacked Iraq. And that he had planned and prepared to invade since 1998. The reason is to bring freedom to the Iraqi people from Saddam through the use of military action. 
 
There are 40 UN Security Council Resolutions against Israel but no action is taken. But Saddam had not adhered to 16 resolutions and Iraq is invaded. This is gangsterism. 
 
This is a historic moment for the Tribunal to hear the distance drums of war rumbling even today due to the actions of the first and second accused. War criminals have to be dealt with, convict Bush and Blair as charged. A guilty verdict will serve as a notice to the world that war criminals may run but can never ultimately hide from truth and justice. 
 
The Verdict
The Tribunal deliberated over the case and decided unanimously that the first accused George W Bush and second accused Anthony L Blair have been found guilty of the Crimes against Peace.

The second accused at the material time as heads of state launched an invasion on Iraq on 19 March 2003. The charge was duly served in accordance with the Charter of the Commission. The accused did not appear and an amicus curiae was appointed. 
 
The evidence showed that as far back as 15 September 2001 the accused had planned to invade Iraq. Documents showed that this plan was conveyed by the first accused to the second accused. The accused had attempted to seek he UN approval for invasion. On 2 November 2002, UN Security Council Resolution 1441 did not authorise the use of force against Iraq.   Weapons investigators had confirmed that there were no WMD. It was also established that the Iraq had no WMD. Iraq was not posing any threat to any nation at the relevant time that was immediate that would have justified any form of pre-emptive strike. 
 
Humanitarian intervention was not a basis for the invasion. The UN Security Council must authorise any use of force. An individual state cannot replace the UN in deciding the use of force. The 9/11 attack did not show any connection with Iraq but instead the US had used this as a pretext to invade Iraq. Invasion to effect regime change has no legal basis under international law. 
 
The Evidence showed that the drums of wars were being beaten long before the invasion. The accused in their own memoirs have admitted their own intention to invade Iraq regardless of international law. Unlawful use of force threatens the world to return to a state of lawlessness. The acts of the accused were unlawful.  
 
The charge is proven beyond reasonable doubt. The accused are found guilty. The Tribunal orders that the names of the 2 convicted criminals be included in the war register of the KL War Crimes Commission. And the findings of this Tribunal be publicised to all nations who are signatories of the Rome Statue. 
 
Despite all the facts both the accused had nevertheless invaded Iraq. A detailed written judgment will be published at a later date.
 
The trial was 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. 
 

-ends-

 
 
The Tribunal Members
Dato’ Abdul Kadir Sulaiman
Dato’ Zakaria Yatim (Recused)
Tunku Sofiah Jewa 
Prof Salleh Buang 
Mr Alfred Lambremont Webre
Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi
Prof Niloufer Bhagwat (Recused)

 
 
The Prosecution
Prof Gurdial S Nijar 
Prof Francis Boyle  
Mr Avtaran Singh
 
Amicus Curiae (appointed Defence team)
Mr Jason Kay
And 3 other counsels.
 
 
The Charge
Crimes Against Peace
 filed against George W Bush (former President of the U.S.) and Anthony L Blair (former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) wherein they are charged as follows:
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 Tribunal will adjudicate and evaluate the evidence presented on facts and law as in any court of law. The judges of the Tribunal must be satisfied that the charge is proven beyond reasonable doubt and deliver a reasoned judgement. The verdict and the names of the persons found guilty will be entered in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicised worldwide.


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Nov 21, 2011
@ 12:13 pm
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'Why Tribunal'

KL War Crimes Tribunal

Why Tribunal

Note: I not Lawyer.


What I have learned from watching the local news stations in the past few days is that they will not run the story despite the fact that it is from Mahathir’s camp. After all, at the time of writing this, Mr. Najib is across the ocean dallying with Ob-man and the ASEAN states. Any War Crimes Court be it the UNSC or ICC will not be a court that is favourable towards the United States given the past few years. Therefore, a trial such as this is conducted at an inopportune moment for the local press to cover.

I refer to the larger conglomerate, which most associate with the present Government thus a friend to a Foundation supported by a figure deemed controversial in the realm of Media. In comparison, the alternative media would refuse for the same reason and perhaps the fact that this Cause seduces not general members of the media suggests large failure when it comes to media exposure. The larger umbrellas (BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera) would not find this Court tasteful on their palette. By referring to the Court as a ‘mock’ and ‘symbolic’ Court, certain media outlets attempt to undermine the legal justice attempted.

It should be mentioned that at least half a million cases each year are determined by Tribunals (Elliot and Quinn 2002: 389) and the role of the Tribunal in the legal system is expected to become more prominent (Ibid.: 390). In the UK, tribunals determine the outcome of Immigration appeal cases, forestry cases and issues of Social Security. In the legal discourse, a Tribunal is usually a specialist forum (Slapper and Kelly 2004: 355) comprising of the experts in a certain field.

TRIBUNAL

Definition

TRIBUNAL. The seat of a judge; the place where he administers justice; but by this term is more usually understood the whole body of judges who compose by this term is more usually understood the whole body of judges who compose a jurisdiction sometimes it is taken for the jurisdiction which they a jurisdiction sometimes it is taken for the jurisdiction which they exercise. exercise. 2. This term is Latin, and derives its origin from the elevated seat

2. This term is Latin, and derives its origin from the elevated seat where the tribunes administered justice. where the tribunes administered justice. (the law-dictionary.org link: http://www.law-dictionary.org/TRIBUNAL.asp?q=TRIBUNAL)

tribunal n. any court, judicial body, or board which has quasi-judicial functions (such as a public utilities board which sets rates or a planning commission which can allow variances from zoning regulations).

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved. From http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/tribunal 

Okay, the following is a narrative on the court processes behind a Tribunal. Should more information be required on the depth of any of the matters discussed please consult an expert in Law.

How a Commission is formed

A Commission is formed when there is a complaint/complaints. A Commission will consist of experts such as Academics, Workers or those involved in the field so problems will be thoroughly discussed in every aspect of the issue. The effect of a Tribunal in the legal discourse depends heavily on the integrity of this panel of experts who form the Commission. The Commission after receiving the complaint will build a case, then serve the Charge or Charges. The Tribunal, is meant to be the Court held by the Commission.

The extent of a Tribunal’s effect

A tribunal will never ever be binding in proper courts to anyone. In other words, any decision that comes out of a Tribunal is not compulsory for any court to obey. It will usually be persuasive. We have to understand that Courts in general are pyramid shaped where a decision from the top (ie Federal Court) is binding to the lower Courts. A tribunal can persuasively affect the judgment of ALL tiers of courts. Thus, the judgment from Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal can affect anything from a small court in Rwanda to the ICC Court. Technically, a record from a Tribunal is like a blackmark in your legal report card; some Courts might take the blackmark into consideration when deliberating, others might not.

If that court in Rwanda tries for themselves to see if Bush, Blair & Co. are criminals and finds the individuals guilty; Bush, Blair and Co can receive punishment as determined by that Court based on the court’s jurisdiction.

However, all of these factors are heavily dependent on the integrity of a Tribunal and any court proceedings will debate on this matter extensively to begin with before accepting the persuasion of the authoritative decision in a Tribunal.

In addition to legal implications, should ever any of those charged be up for a humanitarian award, or a peace award, that blackmark from the Tribunal will stick out like a sore thumb. It might jar with the Award’s purpose to begin with. One must understand that Tony Blair is leading the Peace Quartet (consisting of United Nations, United States, Russia and the European Union) currently negotiating the Peace between Israel and Palestine. With the recent submission of statehood by Palestine, the Quartet has a responsibility to ensure peace between the two regions is kept. One must be suspect of a man who lies easily to rope his nation and other nations in an illegal war.

War isn’t natural.

It really isn’t no matter how much we would like it to be.

Most would become enraptured by the need to act efficiently. Throughout the days of the Tribunal, many had questioned the need for such waste of resources[i]. Most believe without the support of the ICC and the UNSC, all is hopeless. We might tell you that complaints have been made[ii]. The ICC doesn’t care and then you would look at us and say, if the ICC doesn’t care then we can’t do anything. So we don’t[iii].

We believe in facts and statistics and wish for an outcome that is immediate. However, the affects of a Tribunal is not immediate and this dissuades many from the hope of believing.

A part of me feels most people ask ‘Why Tribunal’ not because they want to know how the Tribunal can punish these men but because they want to believe that this isn’t pointless. True, it might affect nothing as none would dare to oppose someone like Blair and Bush, but maybe one day when humanity grows a conscience we can legally circumcise these men because such a record has already been made.



[i] I’m tempted to tell you about the Iraqi victim who attended each of these events, and the Iraqi man who wrote on our ‘War is a Crime’ board that he hated War because soldiers killed his daughter. I know you’re tempted to tell me about the Orang Asal in Sabah and Sarawak and about Freedom of Speech but this really isn’t a competition. It isn’t about who wins because as you can see, from what we’re doing, we’re all losing lives.

[ii] Francis Boyle rebuttle, 21 November 2011 – He said he himself had submitted complaints to the ICC concerning the Iraq invasion. He reported another but I was not able to get the details. Sorry!

[iii] And you call the man who is leading this to be phony when you say you propagate human rights worldwide. 


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Nov 21, 2011
@ 12:10 pm
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PRIMA FACIE CASE ESTABLISHED AGAINST BUSH AND BLAIR

PRESS RELEASE


PRIMA FACIE CASE ESTABLISHED AGAINST BUSH AND BLAIR


KUALA LUMPUR, 21 November 2011 -
 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. For the first time a war crime charge has been heard against these two former heads of state in compliance with due legal process, wherein complaints from war victims had been received, duly investigated and formal charges instituted by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (Commission). 
 
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. 

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Nov 21, 2011
@ 12:08 pm
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THE PROSECUTION CLOSES ITS CASE

PRESS RELEASE

THE PROSECUTION CLOSES ITS CASE.


KUALA LUMPUR, 20 November 2011 -
 The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (Tribunal) entered its second 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. For the first time a war crime charge has been heard against these two former heads of state in compliance with due legal process, wherein complaints from war victims had been received, duly investigated and formal charges instituted by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (Commission). 
 
The Prosecution is only proceeding with the first charge, Crimes against Peace, in the interest of justice as the duration of the trial for this session has been set for four days. The Tribunal will subsequently set another date to hear the second charge of Crime of Torture and War Crimes. 

Today, the Prosecution continued presenting its case with the tendering of public documents and legal arguments supported by international case law authorities and precedents. The arguments were extensive with questions from the Tribunal posed to the Prosecution seeking clarification and dealing with objections from the Defence. Some of the points raised and argued are stated in the following paragraphs.
 
The Tribunal heard that the UK Attorney General (AG) had reservations, at the relevant time that the UN Resolution 1441 did not permit the use of force against Iraq for non compliance with the said resolution in his advice to the Prime Minister on 7 March 2003. And the AG maintained his stand even years later at the Chilcot Enquiry in January 2011. 
 
However, two days before the invasion of Iraq on 17 March 2003, the AG justified the use of force based on the ‘revival of the authorisation to use force under the earlier UN resolutions 678, 687 read together with 1441. The 678 and 687 resolutions pertain to the use of force for the expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait in 1990. These resolutions in no way authorise the use of force to effect disarmament or regime change in Iraq. And there is no accepted doctrine of revival that allows the authorisation in Security Council resolutions.  
 
The Prosecution argued that UK along with the US had also advanced the viewpoint that regime change could be the basis for the use of force. This viewpoint had been expressed as far back as 1998 when president Clinton suggested that Saddam Hussein had to be removed to end his threat. The Iraq Liberation Act passed in 1998 declared that goal of US policy should be to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power. This then became the official US policy. Bush and Blair had on various occasions since then expressed this viewpoint. Two months after 9/11, Bush had asked Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, to review existing battle plans for Iraq. On September 15, 2001 Bush stated ‘once Afghanistan has been dealt with, it will be Iraq’s turn’ 
 
Blair had also stated after the invasion of Iraq, that even if there were no threat of weapons of mass destruction, he would still have effected regime change in Iraq. The AG had advised Blair on 7 March 2003 that regime change could not be the objective of military action.
 
The planning and preparation continued with the use of dubious or faulty intelligence to achieve the objective to effect regime change. This intelligence centred on the existence of weapons of mass destruction that was shown to be false after the invasion. The intelligence was being doctored around the plan and policy of effecting regime change.
 
The Tribunal heard that the US and UK had commenced a ‘secret air war’ against Iraq in the later half of 2002 and early 2003 wherein 21,736 air sorties resulting in 253,000 pounds of bombs being dropped in Southern Iraq to degrade the Iraqi air defences. This was the beginning of the war.
 
Such plans and actions continued unhindered while publicly both the accused presented to the world that they were seeking a resolution of the alleged threat Iraq posed with its weapons of mass destruction. The process culminated in the passing of the UN Resolution 1441 to provide a pretext to launch a full invasion.
 
The conduct of both accused indicated a clear intention to invade Iraq to effect regime change that was never authorised by UN Resolution 1441. 
 
The Doctrine of regime change and doctrine of humanitarian intervention were declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in Nicaragua v US [1986]. The US by passing the Iraq Liberation Act went against the decision in the Nicaragua case.
 
Accountability of individuals including heads of state for war crimes has been well established since the Nuremberg trials after World War Two. The more recent case of Ex parte Pinochet (No 3) (1999) enforces this principal wherein a head of state will be liable to be called to account if he authorised or perpetrated serious international crimes. Waging an illegal war can never be anything but a crime.
 
The arrogance of both the accused is incredulous in leading their country to war and committing their soldiers to die and to kill others. As of May 2011 1.4 million Iraqis, 4,770 US soldiers and 2,445 personnel from other coalition forces have lost their lives as result of the invasion of Iraq. 
 
The Prosecution asked the Tribunal to return a verdict of guilty against both the accused George W Bush and Anthony L Blair. And for the Tribunal to exercise its powers under Article 31 of the Charter of the KL War Crimes Commission and submit the Tribunal’s findings to the International Criminal Court and other bodies as they deem fit for their further action.  And also to include the names of the guilty persons, namely Bush and Blair, in the Register of War Criminals and publicise the same. The Prosecution closed its case.
 
The Defence requested for time to respond to the Prosecution’s case and the Tribunal granted the request. The matter adjourned till the following morning at 9.30 am.
 
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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Nov 21, 2011
@ 12:06 pm
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TRIBUNAL COMMENCES HEARING - Two Judges of the Tribunal Recused.

PRESS RELEASE

TRIBUNAL COMMENCES HEARING
Two Judges of the Tribunal Recused.

KUALA LUMPUR, 19 November 2011 - The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (Tribunal) commenced 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. For the first time, a war crime charge has been heard against these two former heads of state in compliance with due legal process, wherein complaints from war victims had been received, duly investigated and formal charges instituted by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (Commission). 
 
The Tribunal hearing was marked with the recusing of two judges and with the better part of the day spent on dealing with preliminary objections from the Defence team. 


The Tribunal inquired in detail on the service of the charges (charges served on accused) against the two accused. The Prosecution referred to the Affidavit of Service filed and affirmed by the then registrar of the Tribunal, that the charges were served on 19 September 2011 to known addresses of the both accused and in addition, also served on the US Embassy and the UK High Commission in Kuala Lumpur. The service of the charges was in accordance with the rules of the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (Charter).
 
Mr Jason Kay, appointed as Amicus Curiae (‘Defence’) under Article 15 of the Charter raised two preliminary objections: 
1.             on the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the case 
2.             that Judge Niloufer Bhagwat withdraw from hearing the case on the grounds of potential bias. 
 
On the issue of bias, the Defence submitted that judge Niloufer Bhagwat was involved as a judge in the International Criminal Tribunal For Afghanistan At Tokyo where George W Bush was found guilty for crimes in Afghanistan. And she had appeared as a prosecutor in the World Tribunal on Iraq against the same accused in Istanbul.
 
 
The Prosecution responded that the Iraq tribunal was a NGO session and not a court and the Tokyo tribunal and the Iraq tribunal were held in the absence of Bush. And the most important fact is that each case is decided on a case-by-case basis based on facts and law. In addition, the Iraq war and its atrocities, has caused everyone to have their own views. The Tribunal adjourned the sitting to deliberate on the matter.
 
Judge Niloufer Bhagwat made a statement that she had at all times fully disclosed to the Commission about her role in the previous tribunals. She highlighted that the Nuremburg trials where the judges were all from the Allied powers, NO ISSUE Of BIAS was raised. Although she had no vested interest in the matter of the present hearing, she would voluntarily recuse herself in the interest that ‘justice must be seen to be done’ (withdraw from the Tribunal panel for this hearing) so as not to cast even a shadow of impartiality on the proceedings.
 
On the issue of jurisdiction, the Defence submitted that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction, as it has not been sanctioned by the United Nations. Nor is it under the Rome Statute as Iraq and Afghanistan are not signatories of the Rome Statute. Extensive submission was made in support of these points.
 
The Prosecution submitted that the tribunal is a Tribunal of conscience. The Prosecution submitted that no action has been taken despite numerous complaints of war crimes against the two accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The United Nations also failed to take any action to recommend criminal trials. It must be noted that the United States and the United Kingdom have veto powers in the UN Security Council.
 
The UN Charter starts with ‘We the peoples…’ The KL Charter is based on the peoples’ right. Today, People are making power accountable. In addition, this Tribunal is not usurping the authority of any organisation such as the UN. As a people, we have the right as humanity to act against war crimes. War crimes are universal in that there is no geographical limitation. God given conscience cannot be silenced. There are also views that this Tribunal has no purpose. The World Court can take into account judicial decisions of other judicial bodies. The Tribunal is made out of eminent people, which can set precedents in the legal authority of international law against war crimes.
 
After deliberation, the sittings resumed with the Tribunal president informing parties that Judge Zakaria Yatim had been taken ill and would not be able to continue serving on the panel. The coram of five judges is permitted under the Charter of the Commission.
 
The Tribunal also unanimously overruled the preliminary objection and ruled that that it has the jurisdiction on the following grounds that:
·              The Tribunal is constituted under the Charter of the Commission, which is a legally constituted body.
·              By virtue of Article 7 (1) of the Charter the Tribunal has the jurisdiction to hear the charges before the Tribunal.
·              The Tribunal is a tribunal of conscience guided by the principal of natural justice. 
·              The Commission’s Charter is inspired by the Rome Statute 
·              Guided by previous tribunals of conscience such as the Russell Bertrand Tribunal for the Vietnam War and the Tokyo Tribunal for Afghanistan.
·              The Tribunal is complementary to the UN, which has thus far not acted on the complaints of war crimes against these 2 accused.
 
The prosecution made an application to the Tribunal to only hear the first charge, Crimes Against Peace, which the Tribunal permitted. 
 
The Prosecution opened their case by outlining why this charge of Crimes Against Peace have been brought against the two accused:
·              To signal that no country, however powerful can arrogate to itself the right to commit the Crime against Peace, in this case attack another country in violation of international law. 
·              To signal that there is culpability for such crimes by individuals, including heads of states, who authorise or acquiesce in the commission of such a crime.
·              To hold liable heads of states and not just punish petty minions.
·              To preserve the integrity of international law as it evolves and is now evolving. This can be done by consigning to the dustbin of history, the crude and naked arrogance and cruelty of power as demonstrated by the acts of these two accused - leaders supposedly of the free and civilised world.
·              These 2 accused had deceived their own country and the international community in furtherance of their evil and criminal design and objectives.
 
The Prosecution commenced their case through the tendering of public documents showing that the attack on Iraq was planned prior to 9/11 and was an ongoing plan until the actual attack on Iraq in 2003. The UN Resolution 1441, which was relied upon by the US and UK to launch the attack was also scrutinised to show that there was no authority to use force under the said resolution. There was a need for the UN to actually authorise the use of force by way of a second resolution. This was evidenced by the history of negotiation of UN Resolution 1441 wherein there was clear indication that the resolution did not authorise the use of force.
 
The hearing proceeded till the end of the evening and will continue on 20 November 2011.

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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Nov 21, 2011
@ 12:02 pm
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TRIBUNAL TO HEAR WAR CRIMES

PRESS RELEASE


TRIBUNAL TO HEAR WAR CRIMES


KUALA LUMPUR, 18 November 2011 -
 The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (Tribunal) will be hearing war crimes charges against George W Bush (former U.S. President) and Anthony L Blair (former British Prime Minister) from November 19-22, 2011 in Kuala Lumpur. This is the first time that war crimes charges will be heard against these two former heads of state in compliance with due legal process, wherein complaints from war victims had been received, duly investigated and formal charges instituted by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (Commission). 
 
In 2009, war victims had testified before the Commission in 2009, revealing details that were shocking. A few of these are as follows: 

·      A complainant was detained for over 6 years in Guantanamo Bay on mistaken identity, a fact the United States military had realised days after detaining him. He was subjected to inhuman treatment and endured untold mental suffering. 
 
·      The testimony of a woman complainant from Iraq was equally shocking. She was detained and while being transported on a helicopter was used as human shield by being placed near the open doors in the event of resistance fighters shooting at the helicopter. 
 
·     Another victim revealed how he was threatened that if he did not confess to being a terrorist his wife would be killed in the next cell. He endured untold humiliation throughout his 3-year detention.

The Commission also noted that none of these victims were charged for any actual offences and all legal representation was denied to them. No due process of international law was complied with. 
 
The experiences of other detainees in Abu Gharib in Baghdad and Bagram in Afghanistan were similar. The systematic methods employed in these illegal detention centres revealed a deeper complicity instead of the ‘acts of a few rogue soldiers’ as claimed by the United States military. 
 
The Commission was satisfied that a case had been made out for further investigation to be carried out. The complaints were duly accepted. 
 
In October 2009, after the Commission had received the complaints of the war victims, the Commission, sought an Advisory Opinionfrom the Tribunal on the following issues:
 
a.             Does the Tribunal have jurisdiction to hear the cases of war crimes?

b.            Can a head of state or government exempt itself from the any international treaty or convention (such as the Geneva Convention) duly ratified by the state without first abrogating the relevant treaty or convention? 


After hearing the submissions, the Tribunal ruled unanimously on both issues. 
 
On the first issue, the Tribunal held that it has jurisdiction to hear cases on war crimes by virtue of Article 7 (1) of the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission.  
 
On the second issue, the Tribunal was also unanimous in holding that over the last 50 years international humanitarian law has developed to the point that no head of state or nation can unilaterally renounce it. If there is a treaty, it is binding. Even if a nation is not a signatory to a treaty or claims to revoke it, it is still bound by a customary international law. 
 
The Tribunal held that in relation to crimes against humanitarian law, the status of a head of state does not constitute a defence. Nor is it a defence to submit that one was acting under the orders of a superior; this is the law since the Nuremberg Trials.

The lifting of immunity and the principle of individual criminal responsibility are now embodied in a plethora of international laws and decisions. These include the UN General Assembly Resolution 95(1) of Dec 11, 1946; Article 13 of the Draft Code of Crimes Against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1991); UN Document No. S/25704 (1993); and Article 27 of the Rome Statute. 
 
The Tribunal is inspired by the noble principle that wherever there is a right there must be a remedy. Victims of war crimes in Iraq who have been displaced have no remedy in national or international courts.
 
In May 2011, The Commission finalised its investigation and filed its report recommending that charges be instituted. The Prosecution division of the Commission filed the following charges:
 
·     The first charge is Crimes Against Peace filed against George W Bush (former President 
of the U.S.) and Anthony L Blair (former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) wherein they are charged as follows:
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 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. They have been charged with the Crime of Torture and War Crimes:
 
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 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 Tunku Sofiah Jewa, author of an International Law publication, Prof Salleh Buang, former Federal Counsel in the Attorney-General Chambers, Prof Niloufer Bhagwat, an expert in Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and International Law, Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, prominent academic and professor of law, Mr Alfred Lambremont Webre, a Yale graduate, who authored several books on politics and Dato’ Zakaria Yatim, retired Malaysian Federal Court judge.
 
The Tribunal will adjudicate and evaluate the evidence presented on facts and law as in any court of law. The judges of the Tribunal must be satisfied that the charge is proven beyond reasonable doubt and deliver a reasoned judgement. The verdict and the names of the persons found guilty will be entered in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicised worldwide.
 
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 counsel Mr Avtaran Singh.
 
The trial will be held in an open court on 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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Nov 21, 2011
@ 11:59 am
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WAR CRIMES HEARING IN NOVEMBER 2011

PRESS RELEASE 

WAR CRIMES HEARING IN NOVEMBER 2011 


KUALA LUMPUR - 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 premises of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW) at 88, Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur.  

 

-ends-





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Sep 4, 2011
@ 6:05 am
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Imagination Lost

Photography has always been of great interest to me, mainly because it can capture a frame of a fleeting moment of turmoil, passion or crisis. It can suggest a greater story on something beyond our understanding, but the best images, i feel, are ones that inspire the romantic. Not in the love-y mushy way, but something that drops the flood gates of the imagination. From a fleeting moment it becomes something other worldly, touching something deep and inexplicable within us, so all we can do is let our mind wonder while we stare at them. 

The internet in its coldness is starting (or already has) to rob us of this moment of romance with an image. The unhindered imagination that so beautifully compensated for the mystery of a photo is extinguished because now we hunt down the identities of the subjects. We call them up, find their addresses, bring them in to be interviewed to explain their actions, their stories, strip them bare for all to see. 

Remember the iconic kissing couple in affectionate embrace during the celebration at the end of WWII? 

Who were they? Personally i don’t care. I like to think they were in love, or it might have been pure lust swept up in the euphoria of that historic moment. But i enjoy the feelings it conjures. That there is still hope after so much pain and destruction. 

A more contemporary image from Vancouver, Canada:

After the image captured the attention of many, the couple were traced and interviewed on TV. It seemed like while the government was flexing its muscles, here was a couple defiant in their youthful passion. I didn’t want to watch their interview, to watch it would have been to lose that flame of imagination and romance that the ‘kissing couple’ of WWII inspires. Sometimes it’s just nice to leave the images just as they are and to let the mind wonder and find a little romance in an increasingly cynical and detached world. 

- Anthea Haryoko 


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Sep 3, 2011
@ 3:10 pm
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Scraps of Fiction

The grey Mansion looms on the corner of the street. It’s not old, it was actually never finished. Its owners, in their arrogant blind rush to show wealth, didn’t plan its construction wisely and now they are left with an eerie still-born. No money left to build, no prospects to sell and guarded by cheap village labour to practically squat in that eye-sore of a house to maintain some sort of human presence. It’s outer fences were the first to go up, then the outer walls of the house, it was built outside-in. Once displaying the potential of a grand house, now just shows ugly materialism and the thin facade of fake wealth. 

- Anthea Haryoko

Scraps of Fiction is just to jot down raw ideas that might one day culminate into more developed pieces of writing. Call it fictional snacking, if you will.