War Crimes Tribunal
Finds Israel Guilty Of Genocide Against The Palestinian People
Judgment will be
submitted to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal
Court, UN and the UN Security Council for further action.
- KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCT) today found former Israeli army general Amos Yaron and the state of Israel guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide stemming from the massacre of Palestinians in Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1982.
KLWCT president Tan Sri Lamin Mohd Yunus, who headed a seven-member panel, said the tribunal was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that both the defendants were guilty as charged.
The other judges were Tunku Sofiah Jewa, Prof Salleh Buang, Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, Datuk Saari Yusof, John Philpot and Tunku Intan Mainura.
Reading out the judgment for almost three hours, Lamin said the tribunal ordered that reparations commensurate with the irreparable harm and injury, pain and suffering undergone by the complainant, war crime victims be paid to them.
“While it’s constantly mindful of its stature as merely a tribunal of conscience with no real power or enforcement, this tribunal finds that witnesses in this case are entitled ex justitia to the payment or reparations by the two convicted parties,” he said.
Lamin said it was hoped that armed with the tribunal’s findings, the witnesses who were also the victims in the case, would, in the near future, find a state or an international judicial entity able and willing to exercise jurisdiction to enforce the tribunal’s verdict against the two convicted parties.
The tribunal also ordered that its award of reparations should be submitted to the War Crimes Commission to faciliate the determination and collection of reparations by the complainant war crime victims.
Lamin noted that the tribunal was fully aware that its verdict was merely declaratory in nature and had no power of enforcement.
“What we can do…is to recommend to the KLWCT to submit this finding of conviction by the tribunal, together with the record of these proceedings, to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations (UN) and the UN Security Council,” said the judge.
He also said the tribunal recommended that the names of the two convicted parties be entered and included in the commissions’s Registry of War Criminals and be publicised, accordingly.
Yaron was charged over his direct involvement in his capacity as the commanding general in the Sabra and Shatila massacre. This was the first time that Yaron had been charged for war crimes.
The second charge was against the state of Israel for the crime of genocide and war crimes on the Palestinians.
The charges were the result of complaints received by KLWCT from victims from Palestine (Gaza and West Bank) and the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon last year.
During the six-day trial, the tribunal heard 11 prosecution witnesses, including Palestinians from both Muslim and Christian descent, as well as Malaysian surgeon Dr Ang Swee Chai who served at the camp at the time of the massacre.
Six of the witnesses testified at the KLWCT while the other five gave evidence through Skype.
Lead prosecutor Prof Gurdial S. Nijar described the verdict as “significant” as this marked the first time that the Israel state had been found guilty of genocide.
He said today’s judgment would be submitted to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, UN and the UN Security Council for further action.
He added that the judgment would also be publicised and circulated to governments worldwide to allow all states to exercise their jurisdiction on genocide. –
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