George W. Bush may face trial for war crimes after a shock announcement made by The United States Court of Appeal, as they confirmed that judges will hear arguments in a California court, against the former US President, for his actions during the invasion of Iraq.
The U.S Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit confirmed that Judges Susan Graber and Andrew Hurwitz will hear arguments on December 12, 2016, in the case of Saleh v. Bush.
Additional defendants in the case from the Bush-era administration Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz.
If successful, this case could pave the way for a whole string of war crimes cases, that extends outside of the Bush Administration, and could see criminal cases brought up against other key players in the illegal invasion of Iraq such as former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Witness Iraq reports: The United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit confirmed that Circuit Judges Susan Graber and Andrew Hurwitz, as well as District Court Judge Richard Boulware (sitting by designation) will hear oral argument on December 12, 2016, in Saleh v. Bush.
Saleh v. Bush involves claims by an Iraqi woman, Sundus Shaker Saleh, that former President George W. Bush and other high-ranking Bush-era officials broke the law when they planned and waged the Iraq War.
Saleh is appealing the immunity provided to the Defendants by the district court in December 2014.
“We are pleased that the Ninth Circuit will hear arguments. To my knowledge, this is the first time a court will entertain arguments that the Iraq War was illegal under domestic and international law,” Saleh’s attorney D. Inder Comar, legal director at Comar LLP, said. “This is also the first time since World War II that a court is being asked to scrutinize whether the war itself was an illegal act of aggression — a special war crime that was defined at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946.” Comar is handling Saleh’s case pro bono.
Assuming the oral argument takes place, the argument will be live streamed and recorded on the Ninth Circuit’s YouTube channel, permitting members of the public to watch the argument.
The Court’s calendar commences at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time on December 12th; the case will likely be heard later in the morning, as it is last on the Court’s calendar.
In addition to former President Bush, Saleh has named former Administration officials Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz as defendants in the case.
In December 2014, the district court dismissed Saleh’s lawsuit, holding that the defendants were immune from further proceedings because of the federal Westfall Act of 1988 (28 U.S.C. § 2679).
The Westfall Act immunizes former federal officials in civil lawsuits if a court determines that the official was acting pursuant to the legitimate scope of his or her employment.
Saleh disputes the immunity, arguing that the planning and waging of a war of aggression against Iraq fell outside the legitimate scope of employment of former President Bush and the other defendants.