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[casi] Blair faces war crimes suit

Zito i Ellada [Long live Greece]

Exeretiko ! [Great !]




Blair faces war crimes suit

Greek lawyers say they are going to sue British officials - including Prime
Minister Tony Blair - for their role in the Iraq war.

The Athens Bar Association says it will file a suit against Britain at the
International Criminal Court - the recently created tribunal for cases of
war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
The lawyers call the attacks by the United States and British forces against
Iraq "crimes against humanity and war crimes".

They have listed a number of international treaties they say the two
countries have violated.

 We have received more than 200 communications from different parts of the

ICC spokeswoman

These include the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Hague
Convention and the International Criminal Court's statute.

Dimitris Paxinos, the head of the lawyers' association, told the BBC the
lawsuit will be filed within a fortnight.
He said American officials could not be prosecuted as the US is not a
signatory to the ICC's founding treaty.
Eighty-nine countries signed up to the treaty creating the court, which was
formally inaugurated in March in The Hague.

Mr Paxinos, who was elected by a conservative majority, says he is confident
that the evidence compiled by the lawyers is strong, adding that the case
would be a test of the ICC's credibility.

Anti-war Greeks

The ICC is not working yet. Last month it appointed an Argentine lawyer,
Luis Moreno Ocampo, to be its first prosecutor.

A spokeswoman for the court told BBC News Online that only after Mr Ocampo
was sworn in on 16 June would the court consider the Greek lawyers' case.

"We have received more than 200 communications from different parts of the
world," she said.
The British Prime Minister's office has declined to comment on the

According to the BBC's Panos Polyzoidis in Athens, the move is also unlikely
to go down well with the Greek Government as it will act as a reminder of
the Greek public's strong anti-war feeling, which cuts across party lines.

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