Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A war crimes trial: too bloody right!

The Observer | Politics | Full transcript of interview with Admiral Sir Michael Boyce:

It looks as if some service people's families may be starting a war crimes trial now. From this transcript of the Observer interview it seems pretty clear that the military do not feel well protected against it.

As Robert Graves said through Claudius the God

Let all the evils of the earth hatch out.

"AB: [...] if a serious complaint was made by families of troops or somebody to bring it before the International Criminal Court (ICC), do you think you have got the legal cover necessary to...?
MB: No! I think I have done as best as I can do. But I have always been troubled by the ICC. Although I was reassured at the time, as I say, when this was going through Whitehall...about five years ago - I was patted on the head and said: 'Don't worry on the day it will be fine'. I don't have 100% confidence in that.
I have to say, although it doesn't have anything to do with the ICC, the way Trooper Williams was handled doesn't give me any more confidence.
[MB explains facts of Trooper Williams case]
MB: The trauma that person went through and the fact the government didn't protect him, or the system didn't protect him rather than the government, doesn't make me feel any more confident...that if some badly-behaved nation used the ICC to try to bring some charge against either one or a collective number of people, that we would necessarily get all the cover we wanted. So that's why I wanted to make sure we had this anchor which has been signed by the government law officer to show that at least we were operating under...it may not stop us from being charged, but by God it would make sure we brought other people in the frame as well
AB: So if you were called to account it would also be Lord Goldsmith and the prime minister...
MB: Too bloody right!"