September 26, 2002
If at first you don't succeed...

The lawyers who agitated to have Ariel Sharon indicted in Belgium (under that country's arrogant laws) for his role in the Sabra incident are appealing the dismissal of the case by a Belgian court. In this article from the Daily Star (a Lebanese English-language daily), the maneuvering by far-left human-rights organizations, Palestinian sympathizers, and leftist Belgian senators to amend the law to indict Sharon is entering a new stage.

In June, the Court of Appeals in Brussels suspended a legal investigation into Sharon’s role in the massacre, saying that he could not be prosecuted in Belgium as he was not present in the country.

Which is as it should be.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers, human rights organizations and Belgian senators protested the decision, saying it would make ineffective the entire law allowing suspected war criminals to be tried in Belgium.

Which is as it should be, as well.

The case against Sharon was filed in Brussels in June last year under a 1993 law on universal jurisdiction, allowing suspected war criminals to be tried in Belgium regardless of the nationality of the accused and the victims and regardless of where the crime was committed.

Can you imagine the outraged screaming from the Belgians if a similar law were passed in the United States, or (even better yet) Israel?

Since the Court of Appeals decision, Belgian senators have attempted to pass an “interpretative law” that would close any existing loopholes in the 1993 law, allowing Sharon’s prosecution to proceed.

So much for the "double jeopardy" law, another one of those primitive, barbaric American rules for which the EUnuchs have no use. We can't allow civil rights for the accused to trump our case, since it's an Israeli we're talking about.

Amnesty International said Wednesday that Belgium does have legal jurisdiction to hear the case against Sharon.

How? I'd like to see how AI can twist international law to suit their interests.

The human rights watchdog said that if the court failed to allow the investigation to continue, it would call for a reform of the law.
“Belgian law should continue to allow courts to investigate persons suspected of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide regardless of where they are, and to seek their extradition to Belgium for trial based on universal jurisdiction.”

The concept of "universal jurisdicition" is a relatively new one, and the fact that the staunchest supporters of the wretched ICC are also cheerleaders for the term is enough to taint the concept in my mind. International war crimes tribunals are one thing, but this is another altogether.

Henry Kissinger wrote an article in Foreign Affairs magazine, entitled The Pitfalls of Universal Jurisdiction: Risking Judicial Tyranny, which addresses this issue at length. The last section of the article discusses possible solutions to the problems of genocide, while avoiding the petty political posturing facilitated by the current atmosphere.

Mr. Kissinger speaks with a unique authority; in addition to his vast foreign policy experience, he has been a target of a politically motivated "universal jurisdiction" dispute in France, where a judge attempted to indict him for his alleged complicity in "crimes against humanity" in Chile, during the Pinochet regime.

Perhaps the time to turn the tables has arrived; Israel could file a lawsuit against the leaders of terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah, and Haiti could demand that France extradite Duvalier—he has been in Exile in France for quite some time now. Perhaps the African nations could file briefs against the colonial powers of Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal for indignities suffered under their governments (after all, time is immaterial when discussing American transgressions against the Indians or slavery, or against Catholicism when discussing Galileo or the crusades or the Spanish Inquisition). At one time or another, virtually all of Europe had colonies overseas (the Dutch had current day Indonesia, Germany had Tanganyika, and Denmark had the Danish Virgin Islands and Greenland); I wonder what the original inhabitants of those lands thought of the European interlopers.

posted on September 26, 2002 05:49 PM


What is wrong with these people?! They will attack Sharon for defending his country, but they won't even think about going after Saddam in the courts.

posted by ryan on September 27, 2002 01:24 PM

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