<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: Canada could try Bush for war crimes

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Canada could try Bush for war crimes

This too much to hope for. An article in today's Toronto Star says that when Bush visits Ottawa later this year, he could conceivably be tried as a war criminal.

The article, "Should Canada indict Bush?", by Thomas Walkom, says that Bush may be a perfect candidate for prosecution under Canada's Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act. Although the act, passed in 2000 to bring Canada's laws in line with the rules of the new International Criminal Court, has never been tested, it lays out sweeping categories under which a foreign leader like Bush could face arrest.

For example, it says that anyone who commits a war crime, even outside Canada, may be prosecuted by Canada's courts. A war crime, according to the statute, is any conduct defined as such by "customary international law" or by conventions that Canada has adopted. War crimes also specifically include any breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, such as torture, degradation, willfully depriving prisoners of war of their rights "to a fair and regular trial," launching attacks "in the knowledge that such attacks will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians," and deportation of persons from an area under occupation.

Wow. Bush is guilty of all those crimes. But will Canada indict him? Probably not. According to a Canadian foreign affairs spokesperson, visiting heads of state are immune from prosecution when in Canada on official business. So if Canada wanted to indict Bush, they would have to wait until he's out of office--or hope to catch him when he goes up there to fish.

(Thanks to Eric Dickey for the tip.)



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