Bush, Blair guilty in Malaysia `war crimes trial`

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found the former leaders guilty of war crimes in Iraq war.

Kuala Lumpur: Former US president George W
Bush and British ex-prime minister Tony Blair were on Tuesday found
guilty at a mock tribunal in Malaysia for committing "crimes
against peace" during the Iraq war.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, part of an
initiative by former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad -- a
fierce critic of the Iraq war -- found the former leaders
guilty after a four-day hearing.

"The Tribunal deliberated over the case and decided
unanimously that the first accused George Bush and second
accused Blair have been found guilty of crimes against peace,"
the tribunal said in a statement.

"Unlawful use of force threatens the world to return to a
state of lawlessness. The acts of the accused were unlawful."

Mahathir, who stepped down in 2003 after 22 years in
power, unveiled plans for the tribunal in 2007, just before he
condemned Bush and Blair as "child killers" and "war
criminals" at the launch of an annual anti-war conference.

A seven-member panel chaired by former Malaysian Federal
Court judge Abdul Kadir Sulaiman presided over the trial,
which began last Saturday, and both Bush and Blair were tried
in absentia.

"The evidence showed that the drums of wars were being
beaten long before the invasion. The accused in their own
memoirs have admitted their own intention to invade Iraq
regardless of international law," it said.

The verdict is purely symbolic as the tribunal has no
enforcement powers.

The tribunal is also expected to later hear torture and
war crimes charges against seven others, including former US
secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld and former vice president
Dick Cheney.


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