Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 6/22/2003 10:29:05 AM EDT
It seems they are going after their own as well, and they don't like it. Sucks to have your laws turn on you, doesn't it? [:D] [url]http://www.iht.com/articles/100250.htm[/url] Now, Belgian official faces charges Paul Meller/NYT NYT Saturday, June 21, 2003 BRUSSELS Belgium's outspoken foreign minister, Louis Michel, has become the latest politician to be handed a lawsuit under his country's international war crimes law. Earlier this week the law was invoked in lawsuits against President George W. Bush, several senior American officials including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, and the British prime minister, Tony Blair, for their roles in the wars in Iraq and Afghani-stan earlier this year. The actions were swiftly blocked by Belgium's Justice Ministry. Michel, who was one of the most vocal opponents of the conflict in Iraq, is accused of human rights abuses because he authorized the sale of 5,500 machine guns to the armed forces in the war-torn Himalayan kingdom of Nepal last year. A small nationalist party from Belgium's Dutch-speaking community filed the lawsuit against Michel, alleging that the sale made Belgium's foreign minister an accomplice in human rights abuses committed by the Nepalese Army against Maoist rebels. Bart De Wever, a party official for the New Flemish Alliance, said in an interview with Belgian radio that the suit targeted "Louis Michel's own hypocrisy, as his policy decisions run counter to human rights." Michel reacted angrily to the lawsuit. "This is so mad, ridiculous, irrational and malign," he said at a summit meeting of European Union leaders in Greece. "Belgium is being ridiculed on the international stage" and people who are following this type of strategy "don't give a damn about the national interests of our country," he added. Under international pressure, the Belgian government made amendments to the law last month, allowing it effectively to block complaints against citizens of countries it judges to have a fair and functioning judicial system by referring the cases to the authorities there. The cases against Bush, Blair and the others lodged earlier this week have all been forwarded to Washington and London. The same happened with a lawsuit against General Tommy Franks, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, which was filed shortly after the war ended. But Rumsfeld warned this week that unless the law was overturned, the United States would withhold funding for NATO's headquarters in Brussels. A U.S. diplomat told Reuters that unless the law was watered down further Powell and Rumsfeld would almost certainly stay away from NATO's end-of-year ministerial meetings in Brussels. Some Belgian politicians are pushing for a new law that would grant diplomatic immunity from the scope of the war crimes law for any officials visiting NATO's offices here. But Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said that Belgium has adequately amended the law to avoid politically-motivated lawsuits. "The system works without changing the law any further," he said in the Greek resort of Porto Carras, the venue of the EU summit talks. The U.S. diplomat disagreed. "What they haven't done so far is modify the law to stop people with a grudge from bringing frivolous, politically motivated cases," he said. For Michel, the need to rein in the law has become more urgent. "We have to correct the more embarrassing parts," he said Friday, adding that further changes such as granting full immunity to visiting diplomats and officials may be needed.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 10:44:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 11:30:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/22/2003 11:30:50 AM EDT by captainpooby]
I wonder how many FALs there are out there? Fabrique Nationale is probably one of the largest arms manufacturers ever. Well, lookie here, they make rifles for us! Accomplices!
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 12:01:15 PM EDT
Belgium, the alimentary canal opening of the EU.
Top Top