Tomorrow, Saturday (Nov 19),The Malaysian Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW) will hold a symbolic four-day war crimes trial against former US president George W Bush, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and some former US officials on charges in connection to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.
It will be held in an open court at the headquarters of the Al- Bukhary Foundation in Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur and is open to the public.
The trial will be adjudicated by the Kuala Lumpur War Crime Tribunal (KLWCC). It will be conducted by seven senior judges headed by retired Federal Court judge Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman.
Bush and Blair will be tried in absentia as they and other defendants have yet to respond to the tribunal's notice.
The KLWCC is charging Bush and Blair with crimes against peace for invading Iraq in violation of the UN Charter and international law.
The KLWCC is also charging Bush and seven other former US officials, including former Vice-President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, with the crime of torture and war crimes for their treatment of prisoners throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The group alleges that the US leaders acted in violation of the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
KLFCW secretary-general Datuk Dr Yaacob Hussain Marican said the tribunal was being convened for the third time since 2007.
Yaacob said the tribunal of conscience was modelled on the one convened by philosopher Bertrand Russell in 1966 to try the perpetrators of the Vietnam War.
Yaacob said although the tribunal lacked enforcement powers, it would publish the verdict to get the world community to treat the accused as guilty persons.
"The charges are being brought against the accused by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, which comes under our foundation, following in-depth investigations into complaints received from war victims in 2009.
"The commission acts as a peoples' initiative to provide an avenue for victims to file their complaints and let them have their day in a court of law."
Professor Gurdial S. Nijar, a law professor and author of law publications, and Professor Francis Boyle, an American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law, will head the prosecution during the trial.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is an initiative of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who staunchly opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.