Belgium refers war crimes complaint against Gen. Tommy Franks to U.S.
The lawyer who filed a war crimes complaint against the
commander of U.S.-led forces in Iraq said Wednesday he will appeal a government decision to refer the case to the United States.
The Belguim government used a recently approved amendment to Belgium’s universal jurisdiction law that allows a case to be sent to the country of the accused if it has a democratic and fair legal system.
Lawyer Jan Fermon, who represents 19 civilians wounded or bereaved in the Iraq war, said the case could not be handled fairly by the U.S. legal system since Washington had already taken such a clear stance in defence of U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks.”It is evidence that there is no guarantee of (legal) independence,” said Fermon. The lawyer said he will take the case to the Council of State, Belgium’s supreme court, to try and have the case heard in Belgium.