Witnesses including victims of torture at the hands of British and U.S. American agencies and forces in Iraq and Afghanistan gave testimony, with former U.S. President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair among those under prosecution for war crimes, crimes against the peace and crimes against humanity
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal sessions re-opened May 7th and two witnesses, victims of torture and abuse, were questioned.
The leader of the prosecutor team, Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar confirmed that “torture is an international war crime.”
The president of the panel judges, Judge Lamin bin Hj Mohd Yunus said that “torture has become a universal law”.
Professor Francis Boyle from the USA then stated the relevance of the charges against the accused person(s).
According to Prof. Francis Boyle, ‘after 9/11, the defendants went around the world and tortured Muslims, Asians, Arabs and “coloured” people, just like the Nazis did to the Jews, clearly not on the same scale, of course.’
Prof Francis Boyle then gave the podium to Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar to further continue listing the charges against the accused person(s).
Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar then presented the lists of witnesses. One of them is Mr Abbas Abid who was subjected to electric shocks to various parts of the body, who was hung from the wall, who was beaten with tools, thick cudgels, cables, metal pipes and metal ribbons, whose finger nails were forcefully extracted.
Moazzam Begg, Rhuhel and Ali Sh. Abbas are the other witnesses that are involved in this hearing were present.
Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar called Mr Abbas Abid to the witness stand to testify.
The witness, Mr Abbas Abid testified to the questions that were being asked by Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar of the prosecutor team.
Mr Abbas Abid confirmed all of the points about him being tortured that were presented by Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar.
Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar asked Mr Abbas Abid to demonstrate the ways he was being tortured.
Mr Abbas Abid confirmed the ways the detainees were being tortured presented by Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar were true.
Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar the asked the witness, Mr Abbas Abid a few questions about what he had to go through in Iraq before and so far, Mr Abbas Abid has confirmed that all the statements presented by the prosecutor team, Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar are all true.
According to the witness, Mr Abbas Abid, his dreams were shattered when he was being informed that he could not have children anymore because of the torture that he had to go through.
Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar finished testifying the statements and the court adjourned to resume at 2.00 p.m. Malaysia time (06.00 UTC).
The panel of judges entered the court room again at 2.35 p.m. The session was continued by the leader of the defense team, Mr Jason Kay Kit Leon.
Mr Jason Kay of the defense team asked a few questions of the witness, Mr Abbas Abid.
According to the witness, on the 28th of August 2005, the American forces and national guards came and entered his house in a terrifying way. The American forces entered his brother’s house first which was located next to Mr Abbas’ place and it was his nephew who informed him about it.
The witness said that at that moment, he was so worried about his nephews’ and nieces’ safety.
The witness questioned the defense team on how their questions about his occupation are relevant to the charges that are being argued today. However, Mr Jason Kay from the defense team explained that he was trying to test the veracity of the statements.
Mr Jason Kay then asked the witness questions about the days when he was being detained.
According to the witness, he said he had no prior knowledge about the various methods of torture.
The leader of the prosecution team, Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar argued that the questions that were being asked by the defense team had no relevance.
Mr Jason Kay then questioned the witness on how he identified the people when they entered his brother’s house in 28th of August 2005.
According to the witness, it was very easy to differentiate the American Forces and the National Forces based on the uniform that they were wearing.
Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar from the prosecution team asked the panel judges for the witness to be released from the witness stand and the panel judges agreed to his request.
The prosecution team led by Prof Gurdial Singh then called the second witness to the witness stand to testify.
Prof Gurdial Singh asked the second witness to read his personal statement document that was made in 2009 and he proposed for the second witness to read it slowly and that at certain points, he would want to clarify some of the statements from the second witness.
The purpose of the reading was to further clarify about the torture that happened in Pakistan.
The second witness then started reading his personal statement document and explained further on how he had been tortured.
Prof Gurdial Singh then asked a few questions to the second witness to clarify certain things that were unclear so as to get more confirmation about the issue being addressed.
The second witness was unlawfully detained from 31st January 2002 when he was abducted in Pakistan and detained in Afghanistan and Guantanamo until January 2005.
The second witness was taken to Guantanamo Bay and was put in a cell and did not see daylight for 9 months. Later on, the second witness was incarcerated in solitary confinement for one and a half years.
After Professor Gurdial Singh had finished clarifying statements with the second witness, Mr Jason Kay from the defense team asked a few questions to the second witness to get further clarification about the issues being addressed.
The second witness clarified certain statements to give the defense team a clearer view on how he was being tortured in Guantanamo.
According to the second witness, the conditions in Guantanamo Bay have now changed a little bit but we are currently talking about the history, therefore, there’s a big difference there.
After getting a few clarifications, the defense team had no more questions for the second witness.
Prof Gurdial Singh then asked the second witness to elaborate more about the torturing process he had to through in Guantanamo Bay.
After answering the questions, the second witness left the witness stand.
The court then adjourned to resume tomorrow, 8th of May 2012 at 9.00 a.m. Malaysian time (01.00 UTC).