Bush to face torture charge at KL tribunal
KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal will hear the second charge of Crime of Torture and War Crimes against former United States president George W. Bush and his associates from May 7 to 12.
The charge reads that the accused had wilfully participated in the formulation of executive orders and directives to exclude the applicability of all international conventions and laws to launch a war in Afghanistan (in 2001) and Iraq (in March 2003).
The accused were also charged with having 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 Convention.
Apart from Bush, the associates charged are former US vice-president Dick Cheney; former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld; then counsel to Bush, Alberto Gonzales; then general-counsel to the vice-president David Addington, then general-counsel to the defence secretary William Haynes II; then assistant attorney-general Jay Bybee and former deputy assistant attorney-general John Choon Yoo.
In 2009, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission had conducted an investigation after receiving complaints from torture victims from Guantanamo Bay and Iraq, which resulted in two charges being filed against the accused.
At the first hearing, from Nov 19 to 22 last year, the tribunal had permitted the prosecution’s application to hear only the first charge and later found that the two accused — Bush and former British prime minister Tony Blair — guilty of crimes against peace.
In the second hearing, victims of torture are expected to give evidence before the tribunal, headed by retired Malaysian Federal Court judge Tan Sri Lamin Mohd Yunus and consisting of judges Alfred Lambremont Webre, Tunku Sofiah Jewa, Prof Salleh Buang and Datuk Mohd Sa’ari Yusof. The prosecution will be led by Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar and Prof Francis Boyle. The hearing will be held in an open court at 88, Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur.
In the event of a conviction, the name or names of the guilty will be entered in the commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicised worldwide.