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Belgium Scraps War Crimes Law That Angered U.S.

Belgium said Saturday it has decided to scrap a controversial war crimes law which has seen cases launched against President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said his new government, sworn in Saturday, has decided as one of its first acts to scrap the law which has angered the United States. He told a news conference the move was aimed at preventing abuses of the law, which has also seen a case launched against British Prime Minister Tony Blair. “I think we have definitely solved this question,” Verhofstadt said, hours after his government had been sworn in by King Albert II. The 1993 law gave Belgian courts the power to try war crimes cases no matter where they were committed. In future, the right to launch cases would be restricted to Belgians or people resident in the country. All cases apart from those involving Belgians would be dropped, he said. Full Story

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