3 SEPTEMBER 2013 COMPLAINT TO ICC by SEARCH accusing John Howard, former PM of Australia, of war crimes over the illegal invasion of Iraq

SEARCH is the acronym for Social Education, Action and Research Concerning Humanity, an Australian not-for-profit company (see: http://www.countercurrents.org/sf070614.pdf ).

In a detailed, 67 page submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague by the SEARCH Foundation (3 September 2013), John Winston Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia, has been accused of war crimes before the International Criminal Court for sending Australian military personnel into, over, and into the waters of, the Republic of Iraq, pursuant to a 17 March 2003 decision of the Australian Cabinet to join in the invasion of the Republic of Iraq.

This complaint was previously sent to the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (2012) and to the Australian Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution (2013) but no action was taken. The legally expert complainants concluded that the grounds for admissibility were satisfied and the detailed complaint was therefore sent to the ICC but the ICC has taken no action either. [1].

[1]. SEARCH Foundation, “ Australia’s former Prime Minister Howard accused of war crimes before the International Criminal Court in The Hague”, Countercurrents, 7 June 2014: http://www.countercurrents.org/searchnew2.pdf .

[Editor notes:

1. John Valder (born 21 September 1931) is a former president of the federal Liberal Party of Australia and also a previous chairman of the Australian Stock Exchange. John Valder was a founding member of the 'Not happy John!' campaign against former PM John Howard and called for Howard to be tried as a war criminal over the illegal invasion of Iraq (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Valder ).

John Valder demanding Australian PM John Howard (leader of the federal Liberal Party) be tried as a war criminal over the illegal invasion of Iraq (2004): “"Bush, Blair, and Howard, as leaders of the three members of the coalition of the willing, inflicted enormous suffering on the people of Iraq. And, as such, they are criminals. I believe the only deterrent to a repetition of the Iraq situation is punishment in some form as war criminals." [2].

[2]. John Valder quoted in “Howard is a war criminal, says former colleague”, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 July, 2004: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/18/1090089035899.html .

2. Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democratic Party Deputy PM of the UK has described the invasion of Iraq as “illegal”.

UK report on the illegal invasion of Iraq (2010): “The Deputy Prime Minister's statement, while standing in for David Cameron in Prime Minister's Questions, could lead to renewed legal claims against the Government and armed forces. Mr Clegg's comments angered some Conservative MPs, many of whom, including Mr Cameron, had voted for the 2003 invasion. His remarks came as Mr Clegg clashed with Jack Straw, who was standing in for Harriet Harman, Labour's leader. Speaking about the former foreign secretary he said: "Maybe he one day - perhaps we will have to wait for his memoirs - could account for his role in the most disastrous decision of all, which is the illegal invasion of Iraq." The Liberal Democrats were the only mainstream party to oppose the decision to topple Saddam Hussein. In the Commons Mr Clegg seemed to revel in reminding Mr Straw that it was Labour that had taken the country to war illegally.” [3].

[3]. Andrew Porter, “Coalition confusion as Nick Clegg tells Commons that the Iraq war was illegal”, The Telegraph, 21 July 2010: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/nick-clegg/7903576/Coalition-confusion-as-Nick-Clegg-tells-Commons-that-the-Iraq-war-was-illegal.html .]