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Monday, November 19, 2001

Sharon summonsed to face war crimes in Belgium

No more Mr Nice Guy?A BELGIAN court has summoned Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to appear in court later this month over his role in the 1982 massacre of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

The civil complaint was brought by 23 victims of the massacres or their families under a 1993 Belgian law.

The law allows war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to be tried in Belgian courts, regardless of where they took place or the nationality or residence of the victims or the accused.

An estimated 800 to 1,500 Palestinian refugees died in the Sabra and Shatila camps, massacred by Christian militiamen after Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

Mr Sharon was Israel's defence minister at the time.

He was forced to resign from the post after a 1983 Israeli investigation found him indirectly but "personally" responsible for the deaths.

Israeli government officials say they had no knowledge of the existence of a summons.

The Belgian grand jury will decide on November 28 whether its courts have jurisdiction in the case.

 [See also the BBC news item on this]

Related item on this website:

Ariel Sharon to be tried for Crimes Against Humanity
Belgian court delays hearing on jurisdiction to investigate Israeli leader for war crimes
[What Ariel Sharon Said]
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