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USWAR/Powerful youth movement wants to take Bush and Blair to court

 Kuala Lumpur, March 28, IRNA -- The youth wing of the Malaysia's      
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's ruling United Malay National     
Organisation (Umno) plans to initiate legal action against leaders of 
the countries involved in the invasion of Iraq, its chief Hishamuddin 
Hussein announced Friday.                                             
    He said exco member Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh has been assigned  
to study international law to determine if there is a case to bring   
the leader of the US and his allies to court.                         
    Hishamuddin, who chaired the Umno Youth exco meeting in Kuala     
Lumpur Friday's morning, said the legal action would possibly be      
initiated in the name of the organisation itself or Aman Malaysia (the
peace movement that is spearheading together with non-governmental    
organisations).                                                       
    He told a news conference that Umno Youth would, within its       
capacity, look at international law or lobby the United Nations to    
investigate the US and its allies.                                    
    Britain (with 40,000 troops) and Australia (2,000) have joined    
the US-led war on Iraq, which began on March 20.                      
    "Before we go further in this process, we need to know where we   
stand from the perspective of international law. If there is a basis  
for us to take legal action, we will not hesitate to carry out the    
plan because our stand is clear that we do not practice any fear or   
favour," Hishamuddin, who is also Youth and Sports Minister explained.
    "We will use every possible means...this will include protests,   
taking legal action, and creating a humanitarian fund together with   
countries and NGOs which are against the war."                        
    When asked whether the legal action was a long shot, Hishamuddin  
replied: "You just wait and see."                                     
    Hishamuddin said the drastic action was not meant to cause        
problems for Americans and Britons, but that it was necessary because 
the leaders of their countries have shown no respect for international
law.                                                                  
    "There should not be double standards or hypocrisy in matters     
pertaining to universal issues. Action is needed because people are   
dying, the US is acting unilaterally and it is not concerned about    
(other) voices in the world," he said.                                
    Hishamuddin said the US-led invasion of Iraq must be condemned    
because it was totally unjust.                                        
    "The US has failed to prove that Iraq has weapons of mass         
destruction and (has been unable to) link the country with terrorism  
or al-Qaeda," he said.                                                
    Umno Youth expects some 50,000 people at the rally on Saturday,   
which will begin 2 pm (malaysia time) at Merbok field and end at      
Merdeka square near here.                                             
    Hishamuddin called on peace-loving Malaysians - including members 
of the opposition parties - to join the demonstration.                
BN/BH/AR                                                              
End                                                                   

last Update Friday, 28-Mar-2003 03:53:48 PST
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