– No one held U.S. accountable for crimes it committed in Iraq as issue was not given necessary importance, Rensburg tells Anadolu
– South African lawyer says people believe what is happening now in Palestine is ideal scenario for legal process as U.S. continues to send money, resources to allow Israel to commit crimes in Gaza
After South Africa filed a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for genocide in Gaza, the country’s nearly 50 lawyers are preparing a separate lawsuit against the U.S. and British governments on the grounds that they are complicit in Israeli forces’ war crimes in Palestine.
The initiative, led by South African lawyer Wikus Van Rensburg, aims to prosecute those who are complicit in the crime in civilian courts in collaboration with lawyers from the U.S. and Britain, with whom he is already in contact.
Rensburg, who has been writing letters to various countries and the ICJ for the last few weeks demanding that Israel and its supporters be prosecuted, has begun preparations to file a lawsuit against the two Western countries with the support of his colleagues.
“The United States must now be held accountable for the crimes it committed,” Rensburg told Anadolu in an interview, detailing the process by which Washington and London will be tried as complicit in Tel Aviv’s war crimes against the people of Gaza.
‘ICJ case will guide us’
When he told the people around him about filing a lawsuit, Rensburg said he received a lot of support. “Many lawyers decided to join us in the lawsuit. Many of those who have joined are Muslims, but I am not. They feel obligated to assist this cause, but I believe that what is happening is incorrect.”
What happened in Iraq is an example of this, he said, noting that no one held the U.S. accountable for the crimes it committed in the Middle Eastern country as the issue was not given the necessary importance.
But now people believe what is happening in Palestine is an ideal scenario for the legal process to be carried out, the South African lawyer said, adding that “the U.S. is busy spending more money and more resources to (allow Israel) commit the crime.”
“No one says stop, enough is enough,” he remarked.
Rensburg said the genocide case filed by South Africa against Israel at the ICJ will serve as a guide for their case against the U.S. and Britain and that they will begin the process based on the outcome of the case and the steps to be taken by the United Nations.
‘The U.S. must now be held responsible’
If the ICJ trial against Israel is concluded in favor of South Africa, Rensburg believed that the U.S. may face sanctions even if it does not accept the verdict.
The ICJ ruling will also strengthen a case against the Joe Biden administration, he added.
Rensburg said he and his colleagues in South Africa are making preparations by contacting law firms in the U.S. and Britain.
Reminding that Berlin is still paying compensation for the crime of genocide committed by Germany even today, Rensburg said, “The U.S. must now be held responsible for the crimes it has committed. It must accept its responsibilities.”
Pointing out that similar cases were filed against former U.S. President George Bush in the 2000s, he said they believed that they could successfully carry out the legal process abroad by working as a team.
He said South Africa made stronger arguments in the case in The Hague, and that he is intimidated by the argument that an attack against Israel could happen again if the court ruled in favor of South Africa.
Last week, the group of lawyers, which has now grown to 47, wrote an open letter to the leaders of the U.S. and Britain governments, stating that they could not avoid responsibility.
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