Sunday, July 03, 2005

US and UK indicted over Iraq

28 June 2005:

An independent tribunal has found the United States and United Kingdom guilty of a variety of crimes in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

The World Tribunal on Iraq met over three days in Istanbul, Turkey.

The independent panel of academics, writers and activists in its concluding verdict found the US and UK governments guilty of "planning, preparing, and waging the supreme crime of a war of aggression in contravention of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles".

It also found the US-led forces had been "intentionally directing attacks upon civilians and hospitals, medical centres, residential neighbourhoods, electricity stations, and water purification facilities" in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights.

Speakers at the Tribunal included:

former UN assistant general secretary Denis Halliday,

former UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, Hans von Sponec,

Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation Chairman, and former Euro MP Ken Coates

and UNESCO Peace Prize winner Richard Falk.

By collecting the testimony of soldiers, civilians and other witnesses to the conflict, the tribunal also aims to act as a resource for legal cases connected with the war.

"We are here to make concrete records, documents and analysis," says organiser Ayca Cubukcu. "The findings of the WTI are then being taken to the International Criminal Court."

Richard Falk: "The real importance, for example, of the Nuremburg trials at the end of second world war was that they established a record of the Nazi regime and its crimes. When governments and the United Nations are essentially silent over aggression in Iraq, this tribunal is trying to fill that vacuum."

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