Posted Wednesday, October 3, 2001

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London reports:

Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Ariel Sharon to be tried for Crimes Against Humanity

No more Mr Nice Guy?London - The London-based Arabic Newspaper al-Hayat reported on Monday that the Belgian Prosecutor's Office has decided to accuse Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of committing war crimes against Palestinian civilians.

The accusation pertains to Sharon's involvement in the 1982 massacre of at least 2,000 Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon.

This development came months after 28 survivors of the Sabra and Shatela massacres decided to sue Sharon for his role in the 1982 carnage.

Mr. Shebly Al-Malat, the survivors' attorney, told Al-Hayat, "The accusation included committing genocide against Palestinian civilians.

This means that the Belgian investigative judge in charge of the case has accepted to endorse our accusation".

He added, "It's the first time in which a high Western official judicial board accuses Sharon of committing war crimes and genocide against Palestinian civilians."

The Belgian investigating judge said that according to Belgian law, Mr. Sharon does not have any immunity whatsoever.

The judge also ruled that the Israeli Kahan Committee, formed in 1983 to investigate the Sabra and Shatila massacres, was not a trial. Consequently, he decided to proceed with the case.

The Belgian Prosecutor's Office's step is expected to create a heated debate on whether Mr. Sharon should or should not attend the trial, which is scheduled to commence on 3 October.

Mr. Sharon does not recognize the court's right to investigate the case. However, the Israeli government has appointed a defense attorney to handle the case.

Related items on this website:

  Supreme Court petitioned to disqualify Sharon candidacy for his actions in Lebanon War
  Ha'aretz on Ariel Sharon's Orwellian "doublethink"
  Israelis outraged as BBC documentary brands Ariel Sharon a "war criminal"
  Ariel Sharon halts Belgian visit fearing war crime arrest
  Dossier on Disgraced Israeli PM Ariel Sharon
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