Morocco: Peretz charged with 'war crimes'
Three Moroccan lawyers file lawsuit against defense minister over 'war crimes' committed against Lebanon, Palestinians
By ROEE NAHMIAS
(8 August 2006) - Moroccan-Israelis beware: Three lawyers in Morocco filed an unusual war crimes lawsuit against defense minister Amir Peretz in recent days, according to a report in the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi.
The three argued that Peretz is guilty of premeditated crimes and strikes meant to harm civilians and damage national infrastructure as well as airports and seaports, in contradiction of international conventions.
The lawsuit charges Peretz with a long series of crimes, including the destruction of communication sites, undermining general health and the environment, deliberate attacks on women and children, and crimes against humanity.
According to the lawsuit, Peretz is "leading a barbaric war and murderous siege using powerful means of destruction against Lebanon and its people since July, as well as against the Palestinian people, leadership, and government, while insisting on not reaching a cease-fire."
The attorneys explained the lawsuit by noting that Peretz is a Moroccan citizen "who committed the crimes outside the territories of the homeland" and said they proceeded with the move because of official failure to react to the violence.
"We saw it as our duty to file the lawsuit," one lawyer said. The attorneys noted that Peretz still holds Moroccan citizenship and is therefore subject to Moroccan law. They also demanded an investigation be launched against the defense minister in order to expose "all the crimes he committed against the Palestinians and against Lebanon."
"The terrorist criminal Peretz kept his Moroccan citizenship. This man's name still appears in Morocco's records," the lawsuit charges. The lawyers added that the Interpol should be tasked with bringing Peretz to justice in Morocco.
'Despicable crimes against humanity'
Meanwhile, a Moroccan human rights group praised the lawsuit against the defense minister, who it characterized as "in possession of Moroccan citizenship and a Zionist-terrorist identify." The group accused Peretz of committing "the most despicable crimes against humanity, war crime and extermination against the Lebanese and Palestinian people."
As a result of the lawsuit it now appears Moroccan authorities will be facing difficulties should they seek to host Peretz, who visited his country of birth during the recent election campaign and met with Morocco's king. The lawsuit also seems to pave the way for further lawsuits against Moroccan Israelis on charges of committing "war crimes" during their military service.
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