The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission has found former American president, George Bush Senior and former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair guilty of war crimes in relation to their invasion of Iraq in 2003, a landmark ruling which will test whether there is an equal international justice system for western leaders.
On November 19-22, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission held a trial which signifies the most important legal proceedings since the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis after World War II.
Charges against Tony Blair and George Bush Senior were brought by the victims of Iraq in 2009, and following a thorough two-year investigation formal charges were brought against Bush and Blair.
Both leaders were charged with Crimes Against Peace by invading Iraq in March 2003, in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.
They were also charged with the Crime of Torture and War Crimes.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission was founded in 2008, as a result of the numerous victims who came forward demanding justice against Blair and Bush. Note, that other international forums such as the International Criminal Court did not take this action, despite taking action on the scarcity of evidence when it comes to leaders in African and Arab countries.
The trial was conducted by highly qualified legal professionals. According to Global Research, (Bush and Blair to be Tried for War Crimes: November 19, 2011):
“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.”
Global Research also said that the prosecution was led by “Professor Gurdial S Nijar, a prominent law professor and author of several law publications and Professor Francis Boyle, a leading American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law, and assisted by a team of lawyers.”
The trial was held at the headquarters of the Al-Bukhary Foundation at Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur.
Victims who came forward to testify against Bush and Blair in October 2009 to the commission, included a man who was held in Guantanamo Bay for six years because of a case of mistaken identity. The commission even discovered that the United States military knew the man was not the right person after only a few days but held him anyway and subjected him to inhumane torture and mental suffering.
A woman victim told the commission how she was used a human shield whilst being detained on a helicopter so that any resistance from Iraqis would have resulted in her injury or death. Another victim gave evidence to how he was threatened to admit he was a terrorist, or his wife would be executed in the cell next to him.
None of these victims were given legal representation or charged with any crimes.
The second part of the trial led to the conclusion by the judges that no head of state can renounce international law or treaties, therefore when Bush and Blair circumvented the UN to invade Iraq, they broke international law, and any action following that decision was unlawful and therefore a war crime.
The judges agreed with the prosecution’s evidence that Blair and Bush deliberately lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction as a pretext to regime change. Therefore, again they had broken international law in a war of aggression.
In a dramatic ending to a historical trial, the judges found Blair and Bush guilty of war crimes, and concluded that they had committed genocide, crimes against peace and humanity.
It was found that the United States falsified documents to claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. It was also recommended that the names of Blair and Bush be added to a symbolic war crimes register, and that documents will be sent to other members of state who will be expected to act within international law and arrest these war criminals should they be located in their country.
Now for the real test of global justice
It was Malaysia’s retired Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was a vociferous opponent of the Iraq war, that came up with the idea behind this legal proceedings to indict Blair and Bush, as well as their associates with war crimes.
The effort it has taken to bring all these great legal minds together, and the bravery to hold such a historical trial against western leaders is unprecedented in history.
Both the International Criminal Court and the United Nations will be given the full trial reports and be expected to act accordingly within international law and comply with the ruling.
What happens next will define whether all leaders across the world are covered under international law equally, and whether this bold process started by individuals with a conscience and a desire to see justice prevail, was worth the painstaking research and effort.
Tony Blair, George Bush, and their associates still walk free. There is no international arrest warrant for these individuals as there has been for leaders like the late Colonel Gaddafi. The International Criminal Court is a farce. The United Nations is toothless when it comes to bringing justice to powerful leaders.
As wonderful as this verdict sounds to many of us who wish it could be carried through to the end, the truth remains that these leaders are walking the streets relaxed.
The truth remains that Bush, Blair and their associates will never be paraded in the media just as Colonel Gaddafi was, blood-soaked and dragged like dogs through the streets with the sound of cheers around the world. Bush, Blair and their associates will not be hanged by their neck until they are dead, just as former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein was, and for killing much less people. Bush, Blair and their associates bodies’ will not be buried in a secret location, but most likely will be given state funerals as heroes of history. This is the reality of this situation as depressing as it sounds.
The significance of this ruling will be interesting to observe over the next few months, but for now, these convicted murderers continue to walk free and above the law.
For further research: