Bashar Assad Could Be Charged With War Crimes

A case is being prepared and sponsored by an unknown Western country

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An unknown Western country is "bankrolling" a case being built against Syrian Prime Minister Bashar Assad to be brought before the International Criminal Court for War Crimes, the Los Angeles Times reports. The case is merely a "fact-finding mission so far, according to a jurist on the case who spoke to the Times. They are currently assembling testimony from Syrians that "conforms to standards of international law necessary to sustain a war crimes trial," a diplomat working on the case told the Times. No decision has been made whether the case will be referred to the UN Security Council. An AP report says the U.S. will reportedly demand Assad's departure this week after the regime's efforts to crackdown on pro-democracy supporters.

Nabil Halaby, a human rights lawyer in Lebanon participating in the project, told the paper the were interviewing refugees in Jordan, Turkey, and northern Lebanon, and would only identify his backers as "unspecified foreign governments." "The witnesses testified to being victims of crimes against humanity," Halaby said, which reportedly included, "arbitrary kidnapping, arrest without warrants, unlawful killing, torture, torture until death, tanks in neighborhoods."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.