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TONY BLAIR TO FACE SCRUTINY IN HIGH COURT FOR WAR CRIMES
The Royal Courts of Justice will be the venue for the much awaited case over whether ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair should be prosecuted for violations of the Geneva Convention involved in the war on Iraq.
In a case brought by Giovanni Di Stefano lawyer of Tariq Aziz, currently facing a sentence of death in Iraq, Di Stefano has issued an indictment against Tony Blair for a less known alleged crime breaching s.1 and Art.130 of schedule 3 of the Geneva Convention Act 1957.
Quoted last year Di Stefano stated of the prosecution “It is the duty of the occupying force through its leaders who hold the legal responsibility to ensure that anyone tried under the occupying force receives a fair trial. Saddam Hussein, Barzan Al Tikriti, Awwad Al Bandar, Taha Yassin Ramadan, Al Majeed (Chemical Ali) and Tariq Aziz certainly have not. As a consequence Blair should be held accountable and indicted.”
Di Stefano acted for most of the ex-Iraqi regime and last week after nine years in custody succeeded in the release of the ex-minister of culture Humad Humadi. “I am obliged to the Iraqi Government for releasing Mr Humadi and acknowledging an error. He can now re-join his family,” said Di Stefano last week via his twitter page.
The case is listed on the 1 May at the Royal Courts of Justice and Di Stefano will try and persuade the court that the Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC should grant him leave to bring the prosecution and for the arrest of Blair. The court had refused an earlier application but Di Stefano appealed and the matter is to be a public hearing.
Many international jurists, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and even the UNHRC have criticised Iraq for the manner upon which ex-regime members were tried and not having by any standards received fair trials.
“This has been a three year struggle with mountains of papers and submissions but I that actually attended all of the ex-regime in Baghdad at Camp Cropper and other prisons and trials have witnessed the injustice. All have been executed and I am assured by the Iraqi PM and President they will not carry out Tariq Aziz’s wholly unmerited sentence of death. He has not received a fair hearing and as a consequence the blame for such is at the door of the occupying powers namely Bush and Blair,” said Di Stefano to CNNi.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 2002 lays prosecution on violations of the Geneva Convention on the political leaders.
“Art 27 is very clear and states categorically leaders involved in wars are held accountable,” said Di Stefano. “But I could not indict Bush because of the American Servicemen Act of 2001 which allows the US to invade or bomb a country if it arrests anyone for war crimes. I put nothing past the US so after talking with Mr Aziz my instructions were clear to prosecute Blair,” he stated.
Case Number CO/3523/2011 The Queen on the application of Tariq Aziz –v- AG Domenic Grieve QC and the right to prosecute and arrest Tony Blair is listed in the Administrative Court, Royal Courts of Justice, London on 1 May 2012.
If permission is granted Tony Blair will be the first British Minister to face trial.
Violation of Art.130 carries a life sentence. “Mr Blair and the whole process is at least conducted in a more or less equitable background which is more than can be said for the Iraqi trials,” said Di Stefano.