RealNews

Belgian court throws out war crimes case against US General Franks

The Belgian court of appeal has thrown out a war crimes lawsuit brought under a controversial Belgian law against retired US general Tommy Franks, who commanded the US-led war on Iraq, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said. The case was brought under the 1993 “universal competence” law, which in its original form allowed Belgian courts to rule on crimes against humanity regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator or where the crimes took place. Faced with pressure, namely from Washington, the Belgian government agreed this year to scrap the law and in August parliament approved a new, watered-down version. “The court ruled that it must apply the new law,” lawyer Jan Fermon told AFP. Fernon said he had not ruled out taking the case to Belgium’s supreme court, the Cour de Cassation. The lawsuit against General Franks was filed on May by 17 Iraqis and two Jordanians over the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas of Iraq. Full Story

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