Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission

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The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC), also known as the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCT), is a Malaysian organisation established in 2007 by the country's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad to purportedly unilaterally investigate war crimes.[1][2] The KLWCC was instigated as an alternative to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which Mahathir accused of bias in its selection of cases.[3] The tribunal is not recognised by the United Nations, its verdicts being only symbolic.


The governing body of the KLWCC was established to oversee and investigate complaints from victims of wars and armed conflict in relation to crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other like offences as recognized under international law.[4] Members of the governance body include:

Convictions invoking universal jurisdiction[edit]

In November 2011, the tribunal purportedly exercised universal jurisdiction to try in absentia former US President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, convicting both for crimes against peace because of what the tribunal concluded was the unlawful invasion of Iraq.[8][9][10][11]

In May 2012 after hearing a testimony from victims of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the Tribunal unanimously convicted in absentia the former US President George W. Bush, former US Vice President Dick Cheney, former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former US Deputy Assistant Attorneys General John Yoo and Jay Bybee, former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and former US counselors David Addington and William Haynes II of conspiracy to commit war crimes, specifically torture.[12][13] The Tribunal referred their findings to the chief prosecutor at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.[14]

In November 2013, the Tribunal found Israel guilty of genocide of the Palestinian people.[7]


The KLWCC did not have the support of any government.[15] The former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Param Cumaraswamy, called the KLWCC a private enterprise with no legal basis, and questioned its legitimacy.[15] It does not possess a mandate from the United Nations, nor does the UN grant it recognition. It has no power to order arrests or impose sentences, and it is unclear if its verdicts are anything other than symbolic.[16]


  1. ^ "Public papers used in mock war crimes trial of Bush and Blair Archived 2011-11-24 at archive.today" November 21, 2011, The Malay Mail.
  2. ^ "BUSH AND BLAIR TO BE TRIED FOR WAR CRIMES". Nsnbc.wordpress.com. October 29, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  3. ^ Philosophers stone. "Philosophers Stone". Philosophers Stone. Archived from the original on December 27, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  4. ^ "Board of Trustees". Criminalisewar.org. Archived from the original on March 31, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  5. ^ "International News" (in French). Internationalnews.over-blog.com. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  6. ^ "KLWCC judges". Criminalisewar.org. Archived from the original on January 5, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Marquardt-Bigman, Petra (December 5, 2013). "Guess who finds Israel guilty of genocide?". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  8. ^ "Symbolic 'war crimes' tribunal to try Bush, Blair". CBS News. November 15, 2011. Archived from the original on January 1, 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Bush, Blair guilty in Malaysia 'war crimes trial'". Ottawa Citizen. November 22, 2011. Archived from the original on November 25, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  10. ^ Richard Falk (November 15, 2011). "Kuala Lumpur tribunal: Bush and Blair guilty". Al Jazeera.
  11. ^ "George W. Bush, Tony Blair found guilty of war crimes ... in Malaysia". National Post. November 22, 2011.
  12. ^ "War Tribunal Finds Bush, Cheney Guilty of War Crimes". Common Dreams. May 13, 2012.
  13. ^ Holt, Bob (May 15, 2012). "Are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney war criminals? Malaysian court says 'yes'". NewJerseyNewsroom.com. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  14. ^ Ridley, Yvonne (May 12, 2011). "Bush Convicted of War Crimes in Absentia". Foreign Policy Journal. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  15. ^ a b Mahathir's war crimes tribunal under fire, BRussells Tribunal, 13 February 2007, Wikidata Q117832759, archived from the original on 4 July 2008
  16. ^ Hunt, Luke (May 15, 2012). "Bush and Cheney on Trial". The Diplomat. Retrieved 17 May 2012.

External links[edit]