Tribunal Decision: Bush, Cheney Rumsfeld and 5 Others Responsible for War Crimes

Prosecution's Comment on Decision of KL War Crimes Tribunal



The decision today by the KL War Crimes Tribunal has vindicated the integrity of international law. Its unanimous 5-Judges panel decision has resoundingly – like the 4 decisions of the US Supreme Court – declared that it is not for the President of the US to refashion international humanitarian law to suit the country’s own illegal ends. In particular the decision makes clear that the President of the US and his cohorts cannot authorise the infliction of torturous acts – in violation of international law, including the Convention on Torture and the Geneva Conventions. As the trial showed, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, with the support and connivance of their legal advisors, threw their captives into a legal black hole, locking them for years in a constitutional limbo. They asserted – but refused to prove – that their captives were guilty of crimes.And tortured them in ways that defies belief.

What is the effect of this decision? As the highest UK Court decided when it refused immunity to Pinochet, the former Chilean President: torture is a universal crime. It is an international war crime against all of mankind. The judges there said that international law makes clear that there is no safe haven for those who carry out or order torture. And that there is an obligation by States to capture and try war criminals if they enter their countries. Indeed the courts in some countries – like Spain and Germany – have already initiated such action.

Now countries will have this conviction – which also so declared – to support any such action they may wish to take. We must emphasise that this trial was carried out with scrupulous regard to fairness and justice on the basis of rules established by the Nuremberg Charter and the International Criminal Court. Although duly served, the accused chose not to be represented, and in accordance with rules for international tribunals, a defence team was appointed on their behalf as amici curiae. In addition the memoirs of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, were supplied and cited to the court – which presented their versions and justifications of events. In a sense they “spoke” to the Tribunal through their writings.

How long before war criminals are brought to book? It took many years before some Nazi war criminals were indicted and finally convicted. Pinochet was arrested and arraigned before a UK court while in London for medical treatment some 8 years after he ended his term as President. For some more powerful persons it may well take longer. But the message is clear: anytime, anywhere, those convicted today for war crimes, may be similarly arrested and charged.

Thus may the rule of international law be vindicated. And justice restored for those they threw into a legal black hole and tortured so viciously.

Dated at Kuala Lumpur 11 May 2012.

Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar

Chief Prosecutor

KL War Crimes Tribunal

Comment on Global Research Articles on our Facebook page

Become a Member of Global Research

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]