Greek lawyers accuse Britain of 22 illegal attacks on Iraqi civilians.
-If the case against Britain is heard, the ABA said it would summon a number of high-level personalities as witnesses, including UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, European Commission President Romano Prodi and EU foreign and security policy envoy Javier Solana.
ATHENS, July 29 (AFP) - Greece's largest lawyers' group has accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair's government of taking part in 22 unlawful attacks against civilian targets in the Iraq war, according to a complaint filed with the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The British government has said that it does not comment on legal matters and that its legal adviser had made it clear that Britain's actions during the Iraq war were in accordance with international law.
The Athens Bar Association lodged the complaint Monday with The Hague-based ICC against Britain for what it said were crimes against humanity in Iraq.
According to the 47-page complaint, the ABA cites as evidence news agency reports of alleged bombings against urban areas which killed numerous Iraqi civilians.
The reports are based on journalists' on-the-spot accounts or on Iraqi sources, including the press briefings of former Iraqi information minister Mohammed Said as-Sahhaf.
The crimes of British and US forces alleged by the association include the deaths of 50 civilians on March 22-23 in attacks against civilian areas in Iraq's second city of Basra and the bombing of a commercial street in Baghdad, which it said killed 15 civilians on April 26.
If the case against Britain is heard, the ABA said it would summon a number of high-level personalities as witnesses, including UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, European Commission President Romano Prodi and EU foreign and security policy envoy Javier Solana.
The ICC was set up last year to conduct investigations and prosecutions of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. However, the court is only able to act when the countries themselves are unable or unwilling to investigate or prosecute.
The United States has challenged the court's jurisdiction over Americans and has put pressure on other nations not to extradite US troops and other Americans charged with human rights violations and war crimes.
[Source: France Press via ClariNet, 29jul03]
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