“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


The first time I ever heard of Jaques Verges was in the 1980s, when I first watched the EXCELLENT four-hour documentary HOTEL TERMINUS, about the wartime and postwar activities of Klaus Barbi, including his capture in South America and his Trial in France. Jaques Verges was his legal representative. After watching the interviews with Verges including some background on his career, I remember saying “I could watch a four hour documentary about him.”

A year or so ago I read there was actually a documentary being made about him by Barbet Schroeder, the same filmmaker responsible for the superb documentary GENERAL IDI AMIN DADA, and oddly enough BARFLY, the Charles Bukowski biopic.

I’m working on a full-length review of this film, there is a lot to say about the film and the subject matter, but in the meantime here is the trailer and I’ll be archiving longer articles from online in the comments section to this blog.

In the meantime I will say that this is a superb documentary and a MUST SEE for anyone interested in the subject matter of other films such as HOTEL TERMINUS, THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, THE SORROW AND THE PITY, MUNICH, or anything to do with international terrorism and anti-colonialism in general. A VERY INTERESTING FILM

FROM: http://www.terrorsadvocatefilm.com/
Communist, anti-colonialist, right-wing extremist? What convictions guide the moral mind of Jacques Vergès? Barbet Schroeder takes us down history’s darkest paths in his attempt to illuminate the mystery behind this enigmatic figure. As a young lawyer during the Algerian war, Vergès espoused the anti-colonialist cause and defended Djamila Bouhired, ‘la Pasionaria’, who bore her country’s hopes for freedom on her shoulders and was sentenced to death for planting bombs in cafes. He obtained her release, married her and had two children with her. Then suddenly, at the height of an illustrious career, Vergès disappeared without trace for eight years. He re-emerged from his mysterious absence, taking on the defense of terrorists of all kinds, from Magdalena Kopp and Anis Naccache to Carlos the Jackal. He represented Historical monsters such as Nazi lieutenant Klaus Barbie. From the lawyer’s Inflammatory and provocative cases to his controversial terrorist links, Barbet Schroeder follows the winding trail left by this ‘devil’s advocate’, as he forges his unique path in law and politics. The filmmaker explores and questions the history of ‘blind terrorism’ and leads us towards shocking revelations that expose long-hidden links in history.

More articles archived in the “comments” section below…


JDS said...

October 14, 2007
A Life of Smoke and Mystery

SITTING in the gloom of his book-lined office near Pigalle, puffing as always on a Cuban cigar and watched over by African and Asian statues donated to him by clients during his half-century as a high-profile lawyer, Jacques Vergès looked very pleased with himself.

Three years ago, ignoring friends’ warnings that he risked being “ambushed,” he agreed to participate in “Terror’s Advocate,” a 140-minute documentary by Barbet Schroeder that explores his record defending terrorists and an array of other unsavory characters, including the Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie.

Now he believes his gamble has paid off.

“I felt that if the film is about me, I will appear in a good part of it,” he said, a smile playing on his lips. “People will see that I don’t have two horns, a tail and forked tongue. What I say will be of my choosing. I will be judged by what I say, either to criticize me or agree with me, but not through rumors and mysteries. So I accepted. And, the film being as it is, I think I was right.”

Mr. Vergès (pronounced vehr-JEZ) has a point. In “Terror’s Advocate,” which opened on Friday in New York, he expounds at length on his beliefs and actions, all the while foiling Mr. Schroeder’s efforts to clarify those “rumors and mysteries” surrounding, for instance, his disappearance in the 1970s and his ties to the Venezuelan-born terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, known as Carlos the Jackal.

While Mr. Vergès performs — on screen and in person — with the confidence and theatricality of a veteran actor, he hardly emerges unblemished. It is not only the dubious company that he has kept over the years; it is also that, for all his decades in the spotlight, even in his early 80s, his opaqueness continues to inspire distrust.

“He’s a slippery man,” conceded Mr. Schroeder, 66, whose earlier documentaries include “General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait.” “You can never catch him. He loves the mystery. The reason is that there are certain things he cannot talk about. He would be in deep trouble if the truth came out. That’s why there is a mystery.”

Still, one of the strengths of “Terror’s Advocate,” which won plaudits at the Cannes Film Festival in May and was well received in France this summer, is that it goes beyond Mr. Vergès to offer a fascinating account of terrorism as a political weapon since Algeria began its fight for independence from France in the 1950s.

“What I wanted to do was not only to portray an extraordinarily ambiguous person,” Mr. Schroeder said in a telephone interview from Tokyo, where is making a new movie, “but also to tell the story of blind terrorism which started in Algeria and is with us now and unfortunately will stay for a few more years.”

For this he approached the project as he might a feature film, avoiding an explanatory voice-over, adding atmospheric music and cutting between interviews and archival footage with the pace of a thriller. But it is no accident that much of the story can be told through the shadowy life of one man.

In one sense Mr. Vergès’s very life began as a puzzle. Born in Thailand to a Vietnamese mother and a father from Réunion, a French-governed island in the Indian Ocean, he is unsure of his date of birth: either April 20, 1924, or (as he long believed) March 5, 1925.

“I’m totally indifferent,” he said, “but they tried to turn it into another mystery.”

Only 3 when his mother died, he was raised by his father on Réunion. In 1942 he traveled to England to join Gen. Charles de Gaulle’s Free French forces and eventually saw action in North Africa, Italy and France. After the war he stayed in Paris to study, and it was there that politics began to interest him.

“I saw that France was once again beginning colonial wars, in Indochina, in Madagascar, and I was disappointed, I was opposed,” he recalled, noting that French soldiers killed thousands of protesting Algerians on May 8, 1945, the day that the Allies were celebrating victory in Europe.

Mr. Vergès joined the campaign for an end to colonialism alongside other students from French colonies, including a Cambodian, Saloth Sar, later better known as the Khmer Rouge’s murderous leader, Pol Pot. Then, having finally become a lawyer in 1955, Mr. Vergès was drawn into Algeria’s escalating fight for independence.

From 1957 until independence in 1962, he won renown for defending Algerians whom the French called terrorists and he considered patriots, most prominently Djamila Bouhired, a beautiful young woman who was condemned to death for planting a bomb that killed 11 civilians. Mr. Vergès, who organized a successful campaign to obtain her reprieve, later married her.

One measure of the impact of a handful of pro-Algerian leftist lawyers like Mr. Vergès was that they received death threats and, in May 1959, one of them, Ould Aoudia, was murdered. In “Terror’s Advocate” a former member of the French secret police makes the remarkable assertion that Aoudia was killed on orders of France’s prime minister at the time, Michel Debré.

Mr. Vergès remains proud of how he used French courts to fight French colonialism and, even in France, his role in Algeria is no longer controversial. But he broadened his horizons in the late 1960s, defending Palestinian extremists involved in terrorist attacks on El Al aircraft in Athens and Zurich. Then, in February 1970, he suddenly vanished, abandoning Ms. Bouhired and their two children and embarking on what he calls his “long vacation.”

To this day he refuses to say how he spent the next eight years, with rumors placing him with the Khmer Rouge or with Palestinian liberation groups. Once back in Paris, he consolidated his reputation as a flamboyant media-savvy lawyer who is drawn to headline-grabbing cases.

“There is no bad cause,” he said, adding that he had been willing to defend both the former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein. “Everyone has a right to be defended.”

“Terror’s Advocate,” however, dwells less on Mr. Vergès’s courtroom activities than on his own possible ties to terrorism. For instance, while he insists that he barely knew François Genoud, a Swiss Nazi who financed Palestinian terrorism, Mr. Genoud called him “an old friend” after he invited Mr. Vergès to represent Barbie, the so-called “butcher of Lyon,” in his 1987 trial.

Still murkier is Mr. Vergès’s relationship with Carlos, who led numerous terrorist actions in the 1970s and ’80s and was finally kidnapped by French agents in Sudan in 1994 and flown to Paris, where he is now in jail. Mr. Vergès insists that their first meeting took place at that time when he was named as Carlos’s lawyer. (They later fell out, with Carlos calling Mr. Vergès a traitor.)

But their ties date back to at least 1982, when two of Carlos’s followers: Magdalena Kopp, who was his wife, and Bruno Bréguet, were arrested in Paris. Mr. Vergès, who defended Ms. Kopp and Mr. Bréguet, said that the French government asked him to contact Carlos in the hope of averting fresh terrorism but that they never met in person. And a wave of reprisal bombings still followed.

Challenging Mr. Vergès’s account, “Terror’s Advocate” presents East German secret police files showing that he traveled to East Berlin to meet close associates of Carlos. The film also includes a telephone interview from jail with Carlos, who says he met Mr. Vergès “20 or 25 times,” first in Hungary, later in Syria.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Vergès stands by his story, again denying being an accomplice of Carlos’s terrorist network.

So, he was now asked in the quiet of his office, having supported terrorism in Algeria 50 years ago, does he still justify terrorism?

“I cannot judge individual cases,” he said. “But I think the war against terrorism is a fiction. Terrorism is a weapon, not an entity unto itself. During World War II I was in the artillery. There was French artillery, there was also German, Russian, American artillery. There was no single enemy called artillery. To declare war on terrorism is simply stupid. It’s like going to war against the artillery.”

As so often before, then, Mr. Vergès had an interesting answer. It was just not to the question that had been posed.


JDS said...

October 12, 2007
Building a Case Against the Worldly Lawyer to the Notorious
Published: October 12, 2007

When we first meet Jacques Vergès — even before the opening titles of “Terror’s Advocate,” Barbet Schroeder’s astonishing new documentary — he is playing down the genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 1970s. Of course terrible things happened, he says, making use of the rhetorical tactic favored by revisionists and deniers of all stripes, but let’s not exaggerate. And this attitude is what you might expect from someone who counts Pol Pot, the principal author of the Cambodian slaughter, as one of his old friends. Charming.

But Mr. Vergès, a well-known French lawyer whose clients have included Klaus Barbie and Carlos the Jackal, does show himself, in the long interviews that are the backbone of Mr. Schroeder’s film, to be charming, as well as eloquent and witty. Sitting in the mellow light and elegant décor of his office, brandishing what must be a very fine cigar, he is sometimes candid, sometimes sly, and never at a loss for words.

Mr. Schroeder’s decision to begin the film with Mr. Vergès’s remarks on Cambodia, out of sequence in a story that stretches from World War II into the 1990s, seems like an attempt to inoculate the audience against Mr. Vergès’s powers of seduction, as well as a foreshadowing of the film’s case against him.

Not that this case is made overtly. The bulk of the interviews are with Mr. Vergès’s colleagues, clients and comrades in various causes, and most of the journalists and scholars called in to testify range from scrupulously neutral to implicitly sympathetic. Mr. Schroeder’s methods of documentation are thorough and objective, and the extent and doggedness of his research are remarkable. His crew speaks with old lions of the Algerian resistance, with aging militants of the European new left and even with Carlos himself, the mysterious Venezuelan terrorist mastermind who chats by telephone from a French prison. Mr. Schroeder’s only obvious manipulation is in his use of Jorge Arriagada’s score, which gives “Terror’s Advocate” the sinister, foreboding ambience of a thriller.

And indeed it is one of the most engaging, morally unsettling political thrillers in quite some time, with the extra advantage of being true. Mr. Vergès, who all but vanished for eight years in the 1970s, who tried to steal Carlos’s girlfriend, who is more of a celebrity than a pariah in France, is a character worthy of Graham Greene or Joseph Conrad. He’s far too subtle and strange for the average Hollywood potboiler-maker. And he is lucky (though he might not think so) to have found so capable a chronicler as Mr. Schroeder, whose previous real-life subjects include Claus von Bülow (played by Jeremy Irons in “Reversal of Fortune”) and Idi Amin (playing himself in the documentary “General Idi Amin Dada”).

How did Mr. Vergès earn his place in this gallery? If not for the early Cambodia sequence, you might mistake the first part of “Terror’s Advocate” for a portrait in political heroism. The child of a Vietnamese mother and a father from Réunion, a French outpost in the Indian Ocean, Mr. Vergès came of age in the French Resistance and then in the anti-colonialist movement. His ideals were impeccable.

“For me,” he says, explaining his decision to join de Gaulle and fight the Germans, “France was Montaigne, Diderot, the Revolution, and it was intolerable to me that that could disappear.”

But France was also the country whose soldiers, on May 8, 1945 — V-E Day — massacred thousands of demonstrators on the streets of Sétif and other Algerian cities. A decade later Mr. Vergès was in Algiers, defending members of the Algerian independence movement, including bombers recruited by Saadi Yacef, who would go on to play himself in “The Battle of Algiers” and who shares some reminiscences with Mr. Schroeder in this film. One of the most famous bombers was Djamila Bouhired, a kind of Pasionaria of the anti-colonialist struggle, whom Mr. Vergès later married.

The tactics of the National Liberation Front were brutal, but so were those of the French occupiers, who tortured suspected militants and ordered the assassination of their representatives, including Mr. Vergès. As the film traces his subsequent career, though, it begins to seem as if Mr. Vergès would ally himself with anyone willing to plant a bomb or hijack a plane in the name of the oppressed.

And so he became the smiling, civilized mouthpiece for members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Red Army Faction in Germany, defending their bloodiest actions as the work of “soldiers in a noble cause.” (It is not clear that he would say the same thing about Mr. Barbie, killer and torturer of Jews and Resistance fighters in World War II, or about Slobodan Milosevic, another client. But then again, it’s not clear that he wouldn’t.)

Whether Mr. Vergès’s activities went beyond courtroom advocacy is one of the questions Mr. Schroeder explores. He marshals considerable evidence, including documents from the files of the East German secret police, to suggest that Mr. Vergès was much more than the favorite lawyer of some of the world’s most notorious terrorists. Mr. Vergès’s involvement with Carlos, which he minimizes when he is not bragging about it, is particularly intriguing. And his association with François Genoud, a Swiss Nazi and financier of terrorism, is downright chilling.

In chronicling Mr. Vergès’s various adventures, Mr. Schroeder writes a rich and disturbing chapter in the history of political violence in our time, a story in which the pursuit of justice leads down the crooked path of nihilism.

The most disturbing aspect of this sorry tale is that Mr. Vergès, as he moves from the nationalism of the National Liberation Front through the Marxism of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Red Army Faction toward the radical Islamism of his later, Iranian-backed clients, continues to speak in the soothing, familiar idiom of humanism. And also in the relaxed, self-satisfied tones of a man who believes himself a hero, even in a movie that proves otherwise.


Opens today in New York and Los Angeles.

Directed by Barbet Schroeder; in English and French, with English subtitles; directors of photography, Caroline Champetier and Jean-Luc Perréard; edited by Nelly Quettier; music by Jorge Arriagada; produced by Rita Dagher; released by Magnolia Pictures. Running time: 132 minutes. This film is not rated.


JDS said...

April 24, 2008
Lawyer Scolds Cambodia Tribunal Judges
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia’s genocide tribunal abruptly adjourned a pretrial hearing for a Khmer Rouge leader on Wednesday after his lawyer, who is French, erupted at the judges because thousands of pages of documents had not been translated into French.

The judges later said they would issue a warning to the lawyer, Jacques Vergès, for courtroom conduct that caused the hearing’s postponement.

Mr. Vergès, 83, who is representing Khieu Samphan, the former Khmer Rouge president, in his appeal against pretrial detention, has earned notoriety with a client list that has included the Nazi Gestapo officer Klaus Barbie, the Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal and Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president.

The tribunal has charged Mr. Khieu Samphan with crimes against humanity and war crimes committed when the Communist Khmer Rouge held power from 1975 to 1979. About 1.7 million people died from starvation, disease, overwork and execution as a result of the group’s policies in trying to build a classless society.

Mr. Khieu Samphan, 76, has repeatedly denied responsibility for any atrocities.

Mr. Vergès stormed out of Wednesday’s closed-door hearing, telling reporters that judges had asked Mr. Khieu Samphan to find a new lawyer.

“French is an official language of the tribunal,” he told the reporters, in French. “There is not one page of the case file against Mr. Khieu Samphan translated into French.” He added, “I should be capable of knowing what my client is blamed for.”

After Mr. Vergès refused to participate further, the judges suggested that Mr. Khieu Samphan might want to appoint a new lawyer to represent him — and then adjourned the hearing.

“I have been a lawyer for 50 years; it is the first time I have seen judges ask an accused to change his lawyer,” Mr. Vergès said. “This is a scandal!”

One of the Cambodian prosecutors, Chea Leang, said the court was facing difficulty translating thousands of pages of documents for all its cases into the three official languages used by the tribunal, Khmer, English and French.

But she contended that Mr. Vergès’s refusal to participate in the hearing because the documents had not been translated into French was “unreasonable” because the proceedings were not part of the actual trial.

Mr. Vergès and Mr. Khieu Samphan have said they have known each other since they both were active in left-wing student activities in Paris in the 1950s.

Mr. Khieu Samphan has been detained by the tribunal since Nov. 19. He is one of five former senior leaders in custody. The long-delayed tribunal is expected to hold its first trial this year. Many fear that the Khmer Rouge’s aging leaders could die before being brought to justice.

Mr. Khieu Samphan’s lawyers say that he held no real power as the Khmer Rouge’s head of state and that he is not guilty of the crimes with which he is charged.

Mr. Khieu Samphan has blamed the Khmer Rouge chief, Pol Pot, who died in 1998, for the group’s policies.

Expressionless before the court, Mr. Khieu Samphan stood when asked to introduce himself Wednesday and said he lived a life of poverty after the fall of the Khmer Rouge.

“I didn’t have any job, and after leaving the jungle, I depended on my wife, who supported the whole family,” he said.


JDS said...

October 21, 2007
The Way We Live Now
Speak No ‘Evil’
Not long ago I saw “Terror’s Advocate,” Barbet Schroeder’s chilling, mesmerizing documentary about the French defense lawyer Jacques Vergès. The film made me ask myself, What makes Vergès evil? And what, more worrisomely, makes him possibly not evil? Can a man who might be a sociopath but who is not accountable for a specific “crime” be held liable? I was left in such existential discomfort that I saw it again the same week.

The cagey Vergès, now 82, has a long history of defending infamous public figures. He came to prominence by representing members of the insurgent group that spearheaded the Algerian uprising in the 1950s and ’60s (the woman he married faced the death sentence for terrorism), making use of a legal defense known as the “rupture strategy” in which he accused the prosecution of the same offenses as the defendants. Vergès is like a Zelig of the radical left; according to the documentary, he had a long friendship with Pol Pot and also met with Chairman Mao. His client list of killers and would-be killers included Carlos “the Jackal”; the Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie; and Anis Naccache, a Lebanese-born agitator who claims to have received personal assassination orders from Khomeini. Vergès last made news when he offered to represent Sadaam Hussein.

Which brings us to a possibly more disquieting question: What does evil — a term that came into general use only in the 15th century, originally referring to the overstepping of proper limits — look like these days, when so many of us are wary of reductive terms, unsure of our own convictions and easily persuaded of the moral relativism of our values? (The Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word is “little used in modern colloquial English.”) Does it have a particular smell, like teen spirit? Does it come wearing a hood, as in the movies? Or, again, does it look like you and me, sitting over dinner and enjoying a glass of vintage Bordeaux?

For much of history, when an ironclad trust in a divine maker still prevailed (however many plagues or earthquakes he might have arranged), the question of “evil” was contained by one of two rationales: that people deserved it because of wicked behavior or that it was part of a larger, unknowable celestial plan. That attitude, gullible as it now seems, had the benefit of keeping this particular epistemological dilemma outside the human purview. It held steady until the emergence of a philosophical tradition that, beginning with Immanuel Kant’s questioning of God’s pivotal position and reaching an apogee of unbelief with the arrival of Nietzsche, put the concept of evil right in our laps. As Susan Neiman says in “Evil in Modern Thought,” from the Enlightenment on there have been two views: “The one, from Rousseau to Arendt, insists that morality demands that we make evil intelligible. The other, from Voltaire to Jean Améry, insists that morality demands that we don’t.”

Hannah Arendt predicted that, post-Auschwitz, the problem of evil would be a primary focus of contemporary life. And it might have been, except for the fact that, in a destabilized and reflexively ironic age, we are always checking to make sure we haven’t overlooked a mitigating circumstance or an admirable principle gone wrong. Fearful as some of us are about exhibiting a too-primitive and “demonizing” attitude — the kind of macho Us-versus-Them, Axis-of-Evil line of thinking that has made Bush and Company figures of easy derision — we have become increasingly tentative about assigning this stark designation. (In “The Myth of Evil,” Phillip Cole says that his book “asks the question whether evil exists at all and one possible answer I take very seriously is that it does not.”) Few of us would be hesitant to use the word to describe the genocidal regimes, for example, of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and Milosevic. But for the most part, we post-Manichaean postmodernists are more like Neville Chamberlain hoping to win over Hitler with a bit of coaxing than like Winston Churchill, who committed his country to fighting him. Given our a tradition of broad civil tolerance, it makes uneasy sense that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the half-buffoonish, half-demonic leader of Iran, was invited to speak at an ivy-towered bastion of learning, where he gave voice to his hate-mongering views.

Today, the 19th-century critic John Ruskin’s observation that “the neglect of art . . . has been of evil consequence to the Christian world” sounds so overwrought to us — so filled with moral outrage — as to verge on the unintentionally hilarious. Like Maria Wyeth, the jaded narrator of Joan Didion’s permanently contemporary novel, “Play It as It Lays” (published in 1970), we are too weary — or leery — to parse out the whys and wherefores of even Shakespearean villains: “What makes Iago evil? some people ask,” goes the opening sentence. “I never ask.”

As I watched “Terror’s Advocate,” it struck me that Maria Wyeth’s cynical counsel is not easily dismissed. Is Jacques Vergès guided by idealistic beliefs about colonialist injustice? Or is he an opportunist who delights in upending any judicial system he comes across — a present-day incarnation of the monstrous? Barbet Schroeder has referred to Vergès as a “perverse and decadent aesthete,” and yet his decision not to take an overt position in the film is precisely what makes it so unnerving. That and the notion that evil often arrives with an insinuating charm all its own, so much so that sitting down to a glass of wine with the courtly Vergès might beguile you into overlooking the murky path that precedes him.


JDS said...

May 14, 2004
THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: SADDAM HUSSEIN; War Crimes Complaint Filed By a Lawyer Against Britain
A French lawyer said Thursday that he had filed a war crimes complaint against Britain at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for abuse of prisoners in Iraq. But there were immediate questions about whether the court would ever have jurisdiction in the case.

Jacques Verges, a Paris-based lawyer who also says he is representing Saddam Hussein, said he was unable to file a complaint against the United States because it does not recognize the court and ''has put itself above international law.''

But he said he filed the suit against the British government, which does recognize the court's jurisdiction, because there was ample evidence that British nationals had committed war crimes and had abetted crimes committed by American troops.

Mr. Verges, who is often accused of being a publicity seeker, has made a specialty of taking up shocking or sensational cases. He said he was acting on behalf of relatives of his imprisoned clients, Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz, Iraq's former foreign minister.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague declined to comment. ''As a matter of policy, the office of the prosecutor does not comment on communications, not even if they arrive or not,'' a court spokesman said by telephone.

Mr. Verges made available a copy of the complaint, a 16-page document that accuses Britain of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and of the laws and customs of war. It quotes extensively from press reports and from reports by Amnesty International and the International Red Cross. ''I just faxed it this afternoon,'' Mr. Verges said by telephone.

Mr. Verges said that he had filed the suit at the request of relatives of his two clients, Mr. Hussein and Mr. Aziz, because they may also be victims of abuse. ''We don't know, because they are kept in a secret place,'' he said, adding that Mr. Hussein's rights as a prisoner of war had already been violated by the release of degrading pictures of him, in contravention of a stricture of the Geneva Conventions.

It is not clear whether the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction in the case against Britain. The court, created by the Rome Treaty in 1998, became effective July 2002 with the mandate to try ''the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.'' But in essence it is a court of last resort and has jurisdiction over grave crimes only if a nation's own courts are unwilling or unable to act.

Britain's own announced investigations into charges of abuse and killing of Iraqi prisoners therefore will take precedence over any possible inquiry by the court.


JDS said...

April 4, 2004
The World; How to Defend Saddam Hussein (Blame the U.S.)
THESE days, Saddam Hussein is a prisoner of war, under interrogation by Americans somewhere in Iraq. At some point, though, Mr. Hussein is expected to be turned over to Iraqi authorities and put on trial.

And so Mr. Hussein now has a lawyer, or at any rate his family apparently retained one late last month. But should the ex-dictator indeed stand trial one day, the law may not play as much of a role in the proceeding as politics.

The lawyer, Jacques Verges, has taken on notorious clients before and is known for using their cases to support his political views. He defended Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, the terrorist better known as Carlos the Jackal for his role in a series of attacks and hijackings in Western Europe. Carlos was sentenced to life in prison in 1997.

Before that Mr. Verges, who is French, defended the Nazi Klaus Barbie, known as the Butcher of Lyons for his role in the murder of Jews in World War II, against charges of committing crimes against humanity. Mr. Barbie was convicted in 1987 and died in prison in 1991 at age 77.

At various points in those and other cases Mr. Verges tried to discredit the proceedings and show that prosecuting governments were guilty of their own atrocities. Mr. Verges has said in interviews that he hopes to call senior United States officials as witnesses, presumably so that he can make arguments about the complicity of the Americans in Mr. Hussein's crimes.

Using evidence of past United States support of his government, Mr. Hussein may argue ''that anything he's accused of, the U.S. had a hand in it,'' said Harold Hongju Koh, the assistant secretary of state for human rights in the Clinton administration and a law professor at Yale.

A defense based on political arguments may be the best available to Mr. Hussein because it may be hard to make effective legal arguments against some of the toughest charges likely to be leveled against him.

Establishing that Mr. Hussein committed crimes against humanity -- that is, systematic murder, enslavement, imprisonment, torture, rape or other crimes directed against civilians -- may be fairly straightforward, said Ruti G. Teitel, a professor at New York Law School. The crimes that could be the basis for such charges are well documented, she said: the violent repression of the Kurds after the 1991 Gulf War, for example, or attacks on the Shiite Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq, whom Mr. Hussein's army tried to force from the country.

The Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq created the Iraqi Special Tribunal for Crimes against Humanity, with jurisdiction over war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. The Tribunal is a legal hybrid, drawing on the common law system used in Britain and the United States, and the civil law system of France, Germany and other countries in Europe.

The special tribunal statute allows for foreign, non-Iraqi experts to advise the tribunal and gives to investigating judges some of the tasks that, in the United States, would be handled by state or federal prosecutors. Last month, the Justice Department sent a high-level team of prosecutors and investigators to Iraq to assemble and organize the evidence to be used in a war crimes trial.

Mr. Hussein could be charged with such crimes for attacks against Iraqi civilians as well as for attacks on civilians in another country, like Iran; other war crimes include the use of poison gas, which was used by the Iraqi military on the Kurds.

''He has a very hard time getting a factual acquittal, not because of any lack of objectivity, but because in war crimes trials, there is a theory of criminal negligence,'' said Ruth Wedgwood, a law professor at Johns Hopkins University in Washington. Mr. Hussein could be found guilty, she said, if he knew or could have known that crimes were being committed by his underlings. ''You don't have to prove he ordered it,'' she said. ''You only have to prove that he failed to adequately supervise.''

Possibly more difficult would be a charge of genocide, said Fiona McKay, director of the international justice program at Human Rights First. ''You actually have to prove intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a group,'' she said, of people of the same racial, national, religious or ethnic background.

In Rwanda, where people were targeted because of their ethnic background, that might have been relatively easy, Ms. McKay continued. But the case becomes more difficult if, for example, people are targeted for their political beliefs.

The defenses available to Mr. Hussein include some claims familiar to anyone who watches crime dramas on television, including insanity or ignorance of the crimes committed in his name. But lawyers said that Mr. Hussein's defense lawyer, will probably have months or years to think of others.

''You can't send judges and defense lawyers and all the rest of it to a situation where their lives are in imminent danger,'' said Richard J. Goldstone, chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda from 1994 to 1996. And security in Iraq, he added, ''doesn't seem to be something that's going to happen in the foreseeable future.''


JDS said...

August 22, 1994
Paris Journal; In Hooking Carlos, France Opens a Can of Worms
Having long cultivated the myth of his own invincibility, the legendary terrorist known as Carlos at least had the satisfaction of knowing that his name was once again in the headlines last week after he was arrested in the Sudan and extradited to France.

But in France he was promptly upstaged by his own lawyer, Jacques Verges, who spent the week answering reports based on East German intelligence archives that he had been an "operational member" of Carlos's group and had even carried out terrorist actions in France.

A former Communist who in 1987 defended Klaus Barbie, the Nazi war criminal, Mr. Verges dismissed the reports as "disinformation" and countered that the French secret services twice planned to kill him in the early 1980's because he knew that the French Government had tried to negotiate with Carlos.

After visiting the imprisoned terrorist on Friday, Mr. Verges said Carlos was amused to see his lawyer stealing the show.

"He laughed a lot," Mr. Verges said. "He said, 'Soon it'll be you who is charged in my place, then I'll get out and bring you oranges.' "

But the Verges twist to the Carlos story merely added to the unanswered questions already surrounding the case: Who found Carlos? Was he abandoned by his former Syrian, Iraqi and Libyan friends? Did France make a secret deal with the Sudan? What crimes did Carlos really commit and what will he now tell?

Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, has appeared only once in public since he was flown here on Monday, describing himself as "a professional revolutionary" when he was arraigned on Tuesday for planning a bombing that killed one person and wounded 63 in Paris in April 1982.

He has already been sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia for murdering two security agents here in 1975. This case is expected to be retried and Carlos, who was born in Venezuela, is also likely to be charged for a train bombing in 1982 and a railroad station bombing in 1983.

So did he now feel remorse? Mr. Verges was asked.

"He is a human being," his lawyer said. "He is very sorry about people who die, people who are wounded. He is not a gangster, he is not working for money. If he has done what he has done, that was for political reasons."

But Mr. Verges and Carlos's other lawyer, Mourad Oussedik, said they would base their defense on the fact that the fugitive was kidnapped in the Sudan and brought to France illegally. The French Government said it had traced Carlos to Khartoum and persuaded the Sudanese Government to arrest and deport him.

A London-based Arab-language newspaper reported last week that after spending several years in Damascus, Carlos was told by the Syrian authorities to leave in 1991. It said that after he was refused entry by Yemen and Libya, he found temporary safe haven in Jordan before slipping into the Sudan with a false Yemeni passport in December 1993.

Several reports said Carlos, who is 44, was seized after undergoing an operation on Aug. 13. Mr. Oussedik said Carlos had entered a military hospital for unspecified surgery on a testicle and, while still groggy, was taken the next day to an empty house where he was overpowered by Sudanese agents. The Observer of London said today that he had gone into hospital for a liposuction operation and was grabbed there by French agents.

France's Interior Minister, Charles Pasqua, has refused to disclose the details of the arrest, but he has strongly denied press reports here that in exchange France agreed to help the Sudan's Islamic fundamentalist Government in its fight against rebels in the southern Sudan.

The case has nonetheless thrown some light on the mysterious working of France's intelligence agencies. French newspapers reported that Gen. Philippe Rondot, a counterterrorism expert, was sent to Khartoum to confirm Carlos's presence there. Sudanese intelligence officers also visited Paris, they said.

The greatest mystery, though, surrounds Mr. Verges. French newspapers reported that East Germany's intelligence agency kept detailed files on Carlos, including copies of reports written by his German colleagues. And these said Mr. Verges was a member of the group and even took part in a failed rocket attack on a French nuclear plant in 1982.

The reports also said Mr. Verges, who defended two of Carlos's followers in a trial here in 1982, had tried to negotiate a light sentence for them in secret talks with French Interior Ministry officials. Mr. Verges has responded that it was the ministry that sought him out as a mediator and that he had no direct contacts with Carlos.

He also asserted that because he knew the French Government had tried to negotiate with Carlos, his name had been twice placed on a list of "reputedly dangerous" people whose assassination was recommended by an antiterrorist unit linked to President Francois Mitterrand. But Mr. Verges said the President refused to give the order "after thinking about it for a long time."

Tonight, Capt. Paul Barril, a former antiterrorist agent whom the lawyer named as his informant, confirmed the existence of a plot.

"In 1982-1983, Verges was at the center of all terrorist contacts, including Carlos," he told TF1 television. "He was a priority target."

Captain Barril added that Mr. Mitterrand "knew about it." Elysee Palace refused to comment.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Pasqua said the Carlos affair "is only just beginning." And by that, he said, he meant that the terrorist would reveal rich details of his activities over the last 20 years. So far, the unmasking of Carlos is unveiling a great deal more about France's own shadowy role in the case. Which is presumably not what Mr. Pasqua intended.


JDS said...

May 17, 1987
LEAD: IT did not take very long for the trial of Klaus Barbie to become as much a contest among lawyers as a lesson in history. Mr. Barbie, whose trial opened here last week, was the wartime chief of the Gestapo in this region of France. As the trial's main exhibit, he did offer a kind of presence here for the first two days - the gray, pallid, strangely smiling and apparently unrepentant presence of an old Nazi.

IT did not take very long for the trial of Klaus Barbie to become as much a contest among lawyers as a lesson in history. Mr. Barbie, whose trial opened here last week, was the wartime chief of the Gestapo in this region of France. As the trial's main exhibit, he did offer a kind of presence here for the first two days - the gray, pallid, strangely smiling and apparently unrepentant presence of an old Nazi. But then he walked out of the trial in the middle of its third day, which very likely means he will never be seen publicly again. Remaining were two groups of lawyers symbolizing two opposing points of view in a judicial event full of symbolism.

Most numerous, sitting in tiers in the courtroom, are some 40 lawyers representing 110 civil plaintiffs in the case. These are people who claim to have suffered during the war at the hands of Mr. Barbie, who, even in the ranks of Nazi henchmen, stands out as a particularly brutal and efficient functionary. The most symbolically important of the anti-Barbie lawyers is Serge Klarsfeld, a historian and war crimes researcher who, along with his German-born wife, Beate, found Mr. Barbie in 1972 in exile in Bolivia and then led a campaign to have him brought to France to stand trial. Mr. Klarsfeld explains the issue: ''It is to have justice done with this particular war criminal, who is one among many others.''

But Mr. Barbie's trial has become a complicated affair, largely because his lawyer, Jacques Verges has been striving mightily, and skillfully, to turn the proceedings into something other than a war crimes tribunal. Mr. Verges is, like Mr. Klarsfeld, a special sort of figure in France. He is well known as a political radical, devoted to the Palestinian cause, and has gained a reputation defending most of the major terrorist suspects put on trial in France. A Surprising Stroke

In numerous interviews just before the Barbie trial, and continuing during its first days, Mr. Verges has made clear his intention of transforming it into a political event, trying to advance what he sees as Nazi-like behavior on the part of France itself, portraying his client as a sort of misunderstood human being plagued by judicial injustice, not a symbol of evil.

The most dramatic event of the week was Mr. Barbie's announcement Wednesday that he would no longer participate in the proceedings, thereby, in one surprising stroke, depriving his alleged victims of the opportunity to face him directly. Mr. Barbie, reading a prepared statement, claimed that his extradition from Bolivia to France four years ago had been done illegally, making him, as he put it, ''a hostage, not a prisoner.''

The move was viewed as a publicity ploy designed to present Mr. Barbie no longer as the infamous ''Butcher of Lyons,'' but as the real victim in this affair. It was seen, as one lawyer here put it, as ''pure Verges.'' Another example quickly followed. Turning toward Mr. Barbie just behind him in the glass-enclosed defendant's box, Mr. Verges described him as a hurt and isolated individual, saying in a voice stirred by emotion, ''I am honored to defend this man who is alone.'' Then, staring straight ahead at the tier of lawyers for the civil plaintiffs, Mr. Verges let his rapier fly. ''I don't howl with the wolves,'' he said.

And so, the lines were drawn among the lawyers, though the central elements in the trial, the hearing of testimony by witnesses, was yet to come. It was entirely possible that Mr. Verges's apparent strategy would founder next week as dozens of people begin to come to the stand, telling the nine-member jury of Mr. Barbie's actions in World War II. Among them, for example, was a raid on a children's home in the isolated village of Izieu, some 50 miles east of Lyons, in which 44 Jewish children were rounded up by Mr. Barbie's Gestapo in 1944 and sent to their deaths at Auschwitz. The case meticulously compiled by Mr. Klarsfeld and his colleagues has to show that Mr. Barbie committed crimes against humanity -defined as atrocities committed against civilians because of their religion or race. Mr. Barbie, in 1952 and 1954, was tried in absentia and both times condemned to death, for crimes of torture, murder and deportation committed, among others, against members of the French Resistance. Under French law, however, he cannot be executed now. There is no longer a death penalty in France, and the statute of limitations has run out on the earlier charges, which are not included in the current case.

The nature of the defense Mr. Verges is apparently preparing to wage has in itself already become a chief object of speculation, while Mr. Verges has rapidly emerged as the trial's major figure - already a success in that it has diverted attention from Mr. Barbie. Many in this country fear that Mr. Verges will manage in the eyes of public opinion to trivialize the crime of genocide, loading it up with ''extenuating circumstances,'' or arguing that other people have behaved just as badly as the Nazis. He has said that he will show in the trial that France committed Nazi-like atrocities during the Algerian War - when Mr. Verges was a lawyer for Algerian independence fighters - and that both members of the French Resistance and French Jewish groups collaborated with the Nazi occupiers.

''These are arguments that irritate,'' Mr. Verges said in an interview just before the trial began. ''But the role of a lawyer is to displease.''

Mr. Verges's opponent, Mr. Klarsfeld, said: ''Verges jumps on anything that might serve his client. He says that the Jews were collaborators, that the resisters were traitors, that the documents are fake, and that his client can be taken as the war's most innocent man.''

''But,'' Mr. Klarsfeld went on, dismissing the widespread fears that the tactic has aroused, ''I don't think it will bear fruit in public opinion, which, on the contrary, is likely to become exasperated.'' The most deeply troubling aspect of the trial, Mr. Klarsfeld said, is Mr. Barbie's own claim of innocence.

''It would have been a beautiful trial if he had had the courage to recognize that he hated Jews, that he hated the Resistance,'' Mr. Klarsfeld said. ''But you never encounter one of these people who says, 'I am a Nazi and I am happy about what I did.' They always say, 'My ideals were betrayed by Auschwitz. I didn't know anything. I didn't have anything to do with the Jews. whenever there was an excess, I had nothing to do with it. I was not responsible.' ''


JDS said...

Jacques Vergès

Does crime against humanity only force emotion or merit commemoration if it hurt Europeans?

-- Jacques Vergès during the trial of Klaus Barbie

Jacques Vergès, who served as Klaus Barbie's head attorney in 1987, is the living, breathing icon of France's inconsistencies, both past and present. His "attack the prosecution" strategy during the Barbie trial reflected the courtroom tactics that made him famous in the 1960s. Throughout his forty-year tenure as an attorney, Vergès primarily took up political cases, and his clients included both Leftist and Rightist terrorists. His most recent high-profile clients have been the Kekal faction, the group responsible for the deadly 1995 Paris subway bombings, and Carlos the Jackal, a well-known international terrorist.
From the moment of his birth in 1925, in Thailand, Vergès had experienced racial hatred firsthand. His father, Raymond Vergès, a French doctor and a diplomat, had lost his job because he married a Vietnamese woman, something Frenchmen were simply not allowed to do in those days. The same racism that cost Raymond Vergès his career would play an important role in shaping the personalities of his biracial twin sons, Jacques and Paul. For the Vergès twins, growing up half-Asian on the island colony of Reunion in the Thirties would be tough and they would be victims of the racism that went along with imperialism for their entire lives. Everywhere around him, said Jacques Vergès of his youth, he saw racism, and where he saw racism he saw the evils of unfairness, and when he saw unfairness he became angry. When the young Jacques Vergès was treated as a second-class citizen, he became angry; when he saw native coolies being kicked by their white passengers, he became angrier; and when saw African men working fourteen hours a day on the docks for just a few scraps of food, he barely managed to contain his rage. One of the few political groups on Réunion that did not exclude non-whites was the island's budding communist party, and Jacques Vergès, hater of imperialism and its racist colonial system, joined along with his father and brother. When news reached Réunion in 1940 that some French were actively resisting the Germans and the collaborators, Jacques Vergès wanted to help them. In 1942, even though he was only seventeen, he joined the Resistance but because France was blockaded, he wound up with the Free French in Britain under the command of General Charles de Gaulle.

Towards the end of the war against Germany, Vergès would discover the truth about the inseparability of French nationalism and French imperialism. For the French, the smooth transition from a war of liberation to a war protect the colonies seemed natural, but for Vergès it was not. When the natives of the Algerian city of Constantine rose up against the French just one week after Hitler's suicide, the French reaction was swift and brutal. The Algerians counted 40,000 victims of the repression, but the French admitted to only 1,500. As Vergès later recalled, he was horrified by the repression of the Constantine revolt:

I was still in the Resistance and I was terribly shocked. I didn't understand how they [the Resistance] could fight Hitler then turn around and do that. Two years later there was a similar repression in Madagascar. The Nuremburg trials were taking place at the time. I simply could not understand how nations could hold these trials so that the sort of thing the Germans did would never happen again. It was clear that the victorious colonial nations were doing exactly what the Germans had done in France.
Even from the outset of France's struggle to maintain its empire, Vergès was disillusioned. As the struggle became more intense, his disillusionment turned into same sort of anger he had experienced on Reunion as a child. He wanted to do something, but he did not want to end like his twin brother Paul, who, in 1945, was facing a lifetime in prison because he had assassinated the man whom his father was competing with for a minor political position. So Jacques Vergès decided to get an education. When Vergès was in Paris studying law, he became an active opposer of colonialism, and he joined the Communist party. For Vergès, the Communists seemed like the only ones who were trying to create a world in which imperialism and racism had no place. Surely it was no coincidence that the Communists actively supported colonial revolutionaries all around the world in their fight against economic exploitation and racism.
Besides having a passionate hatred for colonialism and racism, Vergès also had talent. While at the Sorbonne, Vergès discovered that he had a special flair for public speaking and for getting others to see things his way. In 1949, he became president of the AEC (Association for Colonial Students), and quickly turned the group into a militant organization. One of the more active members of Vergès' student organization and one who influenced Vergès very much as over the years was the young Pol Pot, who was studying Radio-Physics at the Sorbonne. Pol Pot was so involved in the "revolutionary activities" of Vergès' group that he was forced to leave Paris when he failed his exams. Although Pol Pot quickly moved to bigger and even more radical things than the AEC, he remained one of Vergès' lifelong friends. As was the case for his friend Pol Pot, the AEC was but the first step in a journey that would take Vergès around the world and across the political spectrum.

The Communist Party knew Vergès had talent too and in 1950, they sent him to Prague to lead a youth organization there. For four years in Prague, Vergès was immersed in Party doctrine and on one occasion even met Joseph Stalin. Although he was influenced by Party training to a degree, perhaps the most important aspect of Vergès' experience in Prague were the lifelong friendships he forged with other young Communists, many of whom were from Third World countries and many of whom would be active leaders and fighters over the decades to come. All Vergès needed now was something to struggle against and as France tried to tighten the grip on its empire, he found his calling.

With years of pent-up anger towards colonialism and with his Communist training and ideals, Jacques Vergès the attorney was from the start a firebrand. Vergès did not take just any case, he took just the ones he wanted and those were the controversial ones. In France, in 1954, where political parties of all kinds flourished, where the men who ran Vichy were running the Fourth Republic, and where the veterans of the Resistance were calling for wars in the colonies, there was no shortage of controversy. Vergès' first major case was to defend a group of communist militants who had tried to disrupt the departure of a trainload of draftees headed for Algeria. He fought passionately and won. But just as he seemed headed for a fruitful career as a politicized attorney for the Communists, Vergès got a taste of the PCF politics, and was sorely disappointed. Specifically, as Vergès identified more and more with the Moslem rebels, who like himself were treated as second-class citizens in their own country, the PCF pulled the rug out from under him by conforming to the Fourth Republic's foreign policy and therefore supported the colonial war with Algeria. For the Communists, conforming to the Republic was just another turnabout in a long series of political maneuvering, but for Vergès it amounted to betrayal. Thus ended Vergès' career as a French Communist.

As pitched battles were being fought on the streets of Algiers, Vergès brought the war into the courtroom. During the Algerian war, Vergès made his name by defending men and women accused of terrorism against France. His strategy was to "disrupt" and his goal was public attention, not legal victory. The case that transformed Vergès into a nationally-known figure was his defense of Djamila Bouhired, a twenty-year-old Algerian woman accused of planting bombs in two cafés in Algiers that were popular with European young people. Instead of trying to defend Bouhired, Vergès used the occasion to publicly attack the French army, the government, and the judicial system. During his defense speeches, in which he was trying to get his audience to understand why Bouhired hated the French enough to blow up their cafés, Vergès condemned the atrocities conducted by the French army in Algeria and the inherent unfairness of the imperial system that the government supported. As passionate as Vergès' speeches were, they could not save his client and Bouhired was sentenced to death. Soon after the trial, however, several journalists demanded that Bouhired be released on the account of her youth. The rabble-rousing worked; by 1962 Bouhired was freed and she married Vergès shortly thereafter. (Note to my readers: whatever happened to Vergès' first wife?)

By defending Bouhired, Vergès became one of the first of a growing number of people who devoted themselves increasing public awareness about the Algerian War. When Vergès spoke, he often shocked people, and when people are shocked, they tend to listen. Soon whole publishing companies, most notably Les Editions de Minuit, devoted themselves to printing anti-war books and Vergès was one of the most successful authors of this genre.

As the ranks of those who opposed the Algerian War both grew in size and prestige, Vergès' reputation grew as well. The increased attention made Vergès even more bold, but his disruptive tactics earned him a two-month stint in prison for "attempting to undermine the security of the state" and cost him his license to practice law. In November 1960, Vergès, fresh out of jail and chomping at the bit, made his second major public appearance. This time Vergès, with or without an official license, would defend members of the Jeanson network, a group of intellectuals who openly and actively opposed French control of Algeria. Building on the success of his previous strategy, Vergès and his clients used the case to voice their views to the international press and, as the attention mounted, Vergès knew exactly how to use it. In the glare of the spotlights and with all eyes on him, Vergès was at his best. Vergès was only at his best when he was angry and, in 1960, just as the war in Algeria was reaching its peak, he was furious. It was during Vergès' ferocious cross examinations that Paul Teitgen, secretary general of the police in Algiers, publicly admitted to the use of torture. And it was Vergès, who after his tirades against the French military and government, got to produce a letter from Jean-Paul Sartre denouncing the French presence in Algeria. With the letter from Sartre, France became polarized, much like the U.S. became polarized during the Vietnam War, and in the glow of political chaos basked Jacques Vergès.

Just as soon as his old enemy, colonialism, had fallen in Algeria, Jacques Vergès had acquired a new enemy, Israel. In the aftermath of the Algerian war, Vergès began to grow closer to radicals in the Third-World who opposed the remnants of imperialism in their region. These radicals represented all parts of the political spectrum and came from dozens of ethnic groups, but one thing almost all of them agreed on was that Israel was a growing bastion of imperialism in a world where imperialism was supposed to be collapsing. In order to stop imperialism, the Third-World radicals believed they had to stop Israel because they feared its "the real ambition...was to annex the entire Middle East." With Israel around, imperialism would never die, and when many Third-World leaders began to oppose Israel, Jacques Vergès, anti-colonialist extraordinaire joined them. To consider Jacques Vergès an anti-Semite is probably a mistake, but it is absolutely true that he opposed Israel's existence body and soul, and like others who opposed Israel, he often blurred the distinction between "Zionist" and "Jew." (From the way Vergès writes in Je Defends Barbie, I've decided that Vergès' hatred of Israel and Zionism has made him prejudiced against Jews. This fact, of course, makes him the same kind of hypocrite he has struggled against all along, but that's another matter entirely...) Thus, it should have been no surprise that when PFLP terrorists were being tried for hijacking El Al planes in 1969, Vergès appeared as their attorney. Again, Vergès employed his strategy of disruption by claiming the terrorists' acts were political, not criminal, and that Israel was to be blamed for the El Al passengers' deaths, not the Palestinians. As in his previous cases, his defendants were found guilty, but in the process of their trial, their cause was well publicized thanks to their provocative attorney.

By 1970, Jacques Vergès was one of the most formidable lawyers in the world. Vergès, however, was more than just an outspoken lawyer, he was a man with a cause and there seemed no shortage of battles for him to fight. No matter where he went, Vergès was followed by a hoard of eager reporters waiting to hear his newest accusation and, for the first time, when he spoke, even his enemies listened. In short, he had it all. Then, the strangest thing happened. Vergès, one of the world's most active and most prominent anti-colonialists, just disappeared off the face of the earth. Naturally, there was much speculation that one of Vergès' numerous enemies had finally decided to do away with him. Perhaps some pieds noirs blamed him for the loss of Algeria. Maybe the Mossad, Israel's secret service, had decided he was too much a nuisance. Or perhaps one of myriad other groups decided the world was better off without him. But in truth, nobody knew what happened and for the next eight years, his fate remained a mystery.

Then, just as suddenly as he disappeared, Jacques Vergès reappeared. In 1978 he was spotted buying groceries in Paris but when reporters asked about his missing years, he remained uncharacteristically silent. Even in 1983, all he had to say about his disappearance was, "I am a discreet man. I stepped through the looking glass, where I served an apprenticeship." Whatever the reason for Vergès' absence, it did not change him much and he returned the same disruptive anti-colonial, anti-Israel lawyer that he had been eight years before.

Just as he did in the in fifties and sixties, Vergès took up political cases and his specialty soon became defending terrorists and just as in the fifties and sixties, most of Vergès' clients were found guilty of the crimes of which they were accused. Over the next five years, Vergès defended terrorists from both ends of the political spectrum. He defended Neo-Nazi bombers and Armenian plane hijackers alike. As long as the case was political, and as long as his clients were fighting against either the French establishment or Israel, Jacques Vergès was happy to provide his services. As was reflected by a low win rate so low that he earned the nickname "Monsieur Guillotine," Vergès' priorities in the courtroom had little to do with protecting the freedom of his clients. When he defended his radical clients, he used his well-known "attack the prosecution" method of defense and even if he did not win the case, he would bring attention to his client's and ultimately his own cause. Another important aspect of Vergès' cases during the early 80s was that they revealed and bond between groups on the far left and on the far right. Although Neo-Nazis and Third-World leftists should have hated each other with a passion, they had one goal in common, the destruction of the status quo, and because of that goal they often cooperated. It was through this merger of the extreme ends of the political spectrum that Neo-Nazis gave weapons to African and Asian militants while anarchists smuggled white-supremists in and out of various countries. It was also through this merger that Vergès made connections with the neo-fascists and ex-Nazis. Thus, there was nothing awkward about the request for help Vergès received from the Swiss Nazi François Genoud about a week after Klaus Barbie's forced return to France in 1983. Genoud wanted Vergès' help defending Barbie and Vergès instantly complied. Within an hour, Vergès was on a plane to Geneva and after a brief meeting with Genoud, he flew to Lyon to meet his client.

When Klaus Barbie realized that the Asian man who came to visit him in Montluc Prison was going to be his lawyer, he was shocked. Barbie simply could not understand why anyone but another Nazi would want to defend him. As Vergès later recalled, Barbie's first words to him came in the form of a question: "Why is it that you are defending me today?" (From "Je Defends Barbie" by Jacques Vergès) Vergès, of course, knew exactly why. For Vergès, the Barbie case presented the chance to tie all the loose ends that had been accumulating over the years. Unlike cases involving contemporary terrorists, Barbie's trial concerned crimes the took place forty years earlier and, because of that, promised to delve deep into national history. If the court could examine crimes from the 1940s, then bringing up crimes from the 50s and 60s would not be too difficult. It was the crimes of the 50s and 60s, specifically those the French committed in Indochina and Algeria, that Vergès wanted to address. Furthermore, there was an added bonus in the Barbie trial; the defendant was being accused against crimes against humanity. If France could accuse Barbie of such an immense crime, then Vergès, using the same logic, could apply equal weight to what happened in France's struggle to maintain its empire. Thus, the immensity of the Barbie trial finally provided Vergès with the means to do what he had long dreamed of, to topple imperialism and all of its facets, especially French society and Israel, in the courtroom.

Where is Vergès now?

After the Barbie trial, Vergès once again found himself in the spotlight for defending revisionist historian Roger Garaudy, who wrote a book denying that the Holocaust ever took place. Vergès attacked the prosecution as usual, and, as usual, lost the case. Garaudy came out of the case looking like a bigot rather than an outspoken historian and fled France to an Arab country.

Vergès then helped defend terrorist Carlos the Jackal. He lost the case and Carlos is serving a life sentence in a French prision.

In 1999, Vergès and other lawyers sued Amnesty International on behalf of the goverment of the African nation of Togo. Vergès claims that AI has itself abused human rights. Here is an article on the case.

Note: Most of the information on this page was taken from Erna Paris's Unhealed Wounds. ( New York, Grove Press, 1985.)


JDS said...

Nazi Financier Francois Genoud Bankrolled French Lawyer Jacques Verges. Who is Genoud?

1. Excerpts from Philadelphia Inquirer article on Francois Genoud and his connection to Jacques Verges and Hajj Amin Al Husseini, founder of Palestinian movement

2. Full text of Philadelphia Inquirer article on Genoud

3. Deutsche Presse-Agentur on Francois Genoud

[Posted 17 August 2003]

Note: We will be publishing our own research showing how Verges launched an attack on the French Resistance in 1983, shortly after Klaus Barbie was imprisoned in France, followed by Verges' grotesque antisemitism during the Barbie trial, and also showing that by attacking the Resistance after Barbie was imprisoned, Verges aided the much-embarrassed US covert apparatus by diverting attention from their marriage to Klaus Barbie. If you would like to receive notice of the publication of this material, send a note to typedocuments@aol.com with VERGES in the subject line, and we will send you material on Verges (and nothing else, unless you request it.) -- Jared Israel


[ www.tenc.net ]


Introductory note

Below we have posted excerpts from, and the full text of a Philadelphia Inquirer article on the late Francois Genoud. Genoud is important because he was a financial link between Nazism and Muslim terrorism. And according to all reports he bankrolled the French attorney, his friend and political ally, Jacques Verges. [1]

As noted elsewhere, Internet discussion has recently focused on Verges' involvement in The Hague Tribunal case of Slobodan Milosevic. We (Nico Varkevisser and Jared Israel) have been leaders of the Milosevic support work. [2]

Verges has given interviews where he falsely posed as Milosevic's attorney. (If this sounds familiar you've probably read our articles about Ramsey Clark, who did the same thing.) As the text from the Philadelphia Inquirer below suggests, Verges is, like Clark, linked to Islamic extremism and neo-Nazism - the very things fought against by Milosevic and the Serbian people. [3]

Why have these men gotten involved in a campaign to defend Milosevic, their natural enemy? We think to a) discredit Milosevic by associating him in the public mind with *their own* support for *real* war criminals, for anti-Semitism and for terrorism and b) to draw Milosevic's sympathizers into their orbit, in which anti-Semitic Muslim terrorists are touted as leading the fight against Empire.

Milosevic is *hugely* popular in the Slavic world, where of course anti-Semitism has roots, so this attempt is no small matter.

Recently we have seen greatly increased efforts by forces tied to Clark and also Verges to assume control of the Milosevic support work.

Milosevic fiercely opposes anti-Semitism, as he opposes all racism. To defend him and the Serbian people it is important that those like ourselves, who have been involved in his support work, expose Verges, for he is a poison pill. So this is not the last time we will write about him. Future articles will deal with Verges' agenda, as revealed in the way he handled the case of Klaus Barbie, the Nazi, and in his interview last year with the German State international TV station, Deutsche Welle. We shall show that Verges' agenda involves whitewashing Nazi crimes and aiding German expansionism.

Jared Israel
Nico Varkevisser


1. Excerpts from Philadelphia Inquirer article on Francois Genoud and his connection to Jacques Verges


"He [Genoud] was an unrepentant Nazi who devoted his life to aiding Adolf Hitler's surviving henchman and those he saw as Hitler's natural anti-Jewish successors: Arab terrorists.

"He was a financier of fascism, and a manager of the hidden Swiss treasure of third Reich.

"A shadowy figure in six decades of international intrigue, he masterminded an airplane hijacking, underwrote attacks on Israel and paid for the defense of Adolf Eichmann, Klaus Barbie and 'Carlos the Jackal.' An anti Jewish propagandist, he made a fortune publishing Nazi tracts.


In 1934, back in Switzerland, the 19 year old Genoud joined the pro-Nazi National Front, and two years later he began to forge the other political links that would prove so valuable. He traveled to Palestine. There he met the grand mufti of Jerusalem, the pro-Nazi religious and political leader of Palestinian Muslims, Amin el-Husseini, who was to spend most of World War II in Germany, and who, according to British author Gitta Sereny, "would consider [Genoud] a confidant until his death in 1974."

Genoud traveled to Berlin frequently during the war "to see his friend the grand mufti," and visited him afterward many times in Beirut, according to Le Monde correspondent Jean-Claude Buhrer. The grand mufti "entrusted Genoud with the management of his enormous financial affairs," according to Sereny. Working for both Swiss and German intelligence agencies, Genoud traveled extensively in the Middle East.


"Beginning in the 1960s, Genoud helped finance numerous Arab terrorist causes, selling weapons and paying legal fees. In November 1969, he sat alongside the radical lawyer Jacques Verges as an adviser at the trial in Switzerland of three terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who had blown up an El Al plane in Zurich that February. Genoud's Arab Commerical Bank paid for the defense.

"Two decades later, Genoud would team up with Verges again, this time as financier for the left-wing lawyer's defense of Barbie, the Gestapo chief known as the 'Butcher of Lyon.' In June 1987, Genoud ignored a summons to appear as a witness in the Lyon court trying Barbie for crimes against humanity. Barbie killed 4,000 non-Jewish French citizens and deported 7,000 Jews to death camps. He was convicted in 1987 and died in prison.

"Genoud meanwhile, set up a fund to help Nazis in prison. 'He even had baskets of chocolate sent in to people in jail,' says American journalist Kevin Coogan, who met Genoud in 1986. "


- Genoud on Hitler's hopes for Third World fascism:

"It was at the Nuremberg trials in 1946 that Genoud befriended Maj. Gen. Herman Bernhard Ramcke and obtained Bormann's account of Hitler's conversations from Ramcke's subordinate, former SS Capt. Hans Reichenberg. In the preface to the Bormann document, Hitler's Table talk, Genoud wrote that Hitler wanted the people of the Third World to carry on the work of the Thousand Year Reich."

[End of excerpts from Inquirer article]


2. Full text of Inquirer article on Genoud


Philadelphia Inquirer; "Hitler's Swiss Connection;" By David Lee Preston; Jan. 5, 1997

On May 30 1996, a gray haired Swiss widower named Francois Genoud took a few close friends and relatives to a restaurant in Pully, his home town on Lake Lausanne.

Then they accompanied him back to his house, where one of his lunch companions prepared him a lethal cocktail: a bitter white poison dissolved in water. Genoud took the drink into his hands. He had started planning for this moment a year earlier when he went with his daughters, Martine and Francoise, to become a member of the suicide-assistance organization Exit, complaining that 'psychological illness' had made life unbearable since the death of his second wife, Elisabeth, in 1991.

Genoud put the glass to his lips and drank. 'He had decided to leave this earth,' said Martine Genoud, 'on a date that he chose himself.' He was 81.

An urbane man with an air of influence and respectability, Genoud was no ordinary Swiss pensioner.

He was an unrepentant Nazi who devoted his life to aiding Adolf Hitler's surviving henchman and those he saw as Hitler's natural anti-Jewish successors: Arab terrorists.

He was a financier of fascism, and a manager of the hidden Swiss treasure of third Reich.

A shadowy figure in six decades of international intrigue, he masterminded an airplane hijacking, underwrote attacks on Israel and paid for the defense of Adolf Eichmann, Klaus Barbie and 'Carlos the Jackal.' An anti Jewish propagandist, he made a fortune publishing Nazi tracts.

In the end he slipped away just as a 50-year old scandal was breaking that might have implicated him in one history's great cover-ups: The Swiss collaboration with Nazi Germany in hiding gold looted from Holocaust victims and subjugated governments.

Genoud's suicide came just four weeks after Jewish leaders and Swiss banking officials announced an unprecedented agreement setting up a commission to examine secret bank and government files, searching for funds deposited in Switzerland by Holocaust victims. Chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volker, the panel is working separately from a Swiss government probe into Nazi plunder in Switzerland.

In the United States, Sen. D' Amato, the Senate banking Committee chairman, is investigating Swiss wartime holdings and campaigning for release of billions of dollars in Holocaust victims' funds from Swiss banks. President Clinton has pledged "full moral and political support," for the investigations. And Holocaust survivors and families of victims have filed class action lawsuits in federal court in New York against a group of Swiss banks, trying to recover assets taken from Jews during the War.

Responding to a question during the Inquirer's investigation of Genoud, D'Amato last month called on the Swiss government to fully investigate and disclose Genoud's role in the Swiss handling of the Nazi gold.

"The accusations made against Mr. Genoud seem to be reprehensible," said D'Amato. "We would hope that the Swiss would be forthcoming with information on his activities before, during and after the war."

Did Genoud take his own life to avoid the coming scrutiny?

Daniel Lack, a Geneva attorney and legal adviser to the World Jewish Congress, said, "It stands to reason he [Genoud] must be implicated in the illegal transfer of Nazi assets to Switzerland and concealing it. I dare say that the man realized this. All these inquirers into the opening of the records of Nazi assets in Swiss banks may have compromised him in more ways than one. It's not improbable, his connections being what they were and his sympathies being what they were."

In October the world Jewish Congress released a once-secret U.S. Army document from 1945 found in the National Archives. It told of Allied Soldiers finding bags of gold fillings from human teeth hidden by the Nazis in Germany at the end of the war. The document reported the bags were among stacks of gold bars, gold coins, silver, Passover candlesticks, paintings and other assets looted by the Nazis and hidden in a salt mine in Merkers, in western Germany.

The document was a stark reminder, WJB president Edgar Bronfman said, the looted Nazi gold sought by investigators was not just gold bullion taken from the treasuries of Europe, but items seized from human beings. According to testimony at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal in 1945-46, the Nazis extracted gold from the teeth of people they executed in death camps and melted it down to sell for the war effort. Captured SS records on microfilm at the National Archives show that Oswald Pohl, head of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, had distributed a chart that said: "Efficient utilization of the prisoner's body at the end of nine months increases this profit by the return of dental gold. It is possible at times to obtain additional revenue from the utilization of bones and ashes."

As a teenager in the fall of 1932, Francois Genoud briefly met the man who was to shape the rest of his life. In a hotel in Bad Godesberg, near Bonn, the young Genoud encountered Adolf Hitler. He told Hitler of his great interest in National Socialism, and Hitler shook his hand. Genoud's parents--his father was a wealthy wallpaper manufacturer--had sent him from Lausanne to study in Germany at 16 to learn discipline. He found Hitler's writings "very relevant," he said years later. Sixty years after that single meeting, Genoud told a London newspaper, "My views have not changed since I was a young man. Hitler was a great leader, and if he had won the War the world would be a better place today."

In 1934, back in Switzerland, the 19 year old Genoud joined the pro-Nazi National Front, and two years later he began to forge the other political links that would prove so valuable. He traveled to Palestine. There he met the grand mufti of Jerusalem, the pro-Nazi religious and political leader of Palestinian Muslims, Amin el-Husseini, who was to spend most of World War II in Germany, and who, according to British author Gitta Sereny, "would consider [Genoud] a confidant until his death in 1974."

Genoud traveled to Berlin frequently during the war "to see his friend the grand mufti," and visited him afterward many times in Beirut, according to Le Monde correspondent Jean-Claude Buhrer. The grand mufti "entrusted Genoud with the management of his enormous financial affairs," according to Sereny. Working for both Swiss and German intelligence agencies, Genoud traveled extensively in the Middle East.

In Lausanne in 1940, along with a Lebanese national, he set up the Oasis nightclub to serve as a covert operation for the Abwehr, the German counterintelligence service. In 1941, Abwehr agent Paul Dickopf sent Genoud into Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Belgium. Genoud befriended several top Nazis, including SS Gen. Karl Wolff, who had been Heinrich Himmler's personal adjutant and who by 1943 would be "supreme SS and police leader" in Italy.

"It was a tit for tat between me and my Abwehr contact [Dickopf]," Genoud reminisced shortly before his death. "I was dealing in all kinds of things including currency, diamonds and gold, and Dickopf liked dealing, too. So I pushed things his way, and he pushed things my way . . . . It was all very satisfactory; everybody was happy. We were all friends." Dickopf, meanwhile, went underground in the fall of 1942 with Genoud's help, emerging in Switzerland. Ironically, from 1968 to 1972, Dickopf was president of Interpol, the widely respected international police agency. At the end of the war, Genoud represented the Swiss Red Cross in Brussels, according to Buhrer.

Genoud, according to documents from Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld of Paris, soon used his banking contacts to set in motion networks that later became known as ODESSA, which functioned principally for the transfer of millions of marks from Germany into Swiss banks and the evacuation of key Nazi leaders into Morocco, Spain and Latin America.

"The money," wrote Toronto author Erna Paris in a book about Klaus Barbie, "most of which was stolen from European Jews, was deposited in numbered bank accounts through a clandestine club of former SS officers called Die Spinne (The Spider), the successor to the ODESSA organization."

Meanwhile, Genoud acquired from the families of Hitler, Bormann and Goebells all posthumous rights to the writings of the three men-- agreements that made him a fortune when he published the volumes. (Sereny said the sheer force of Genoud's personality enabled him to obtain those rights: "To the surprise of many people," she wrote in the London Observer a month before his death, "he invariably comes across as a sympathetic and honest man.")

It was at the Nuremberg trials in 1946 that Genoud befriended Maj. Gen. Herman Bernhard Ramcke and obtained Bormann's account of Hitler's conversations from Ramcke's subordinate, former SS Capt. Hans Reichenberg. In the preface to the Bormann document, Hitler's Table talk, Genoud wrote that Hitler wanted the people of the Third World to carry on the work of the Thousand Year Reich.

A December 1952 State Department telegram from Bonn leaves no doubt about Genoud's circle of friends. The formerly classified document, obtained by The Inquirer under the Freedom of Information Act, names "Swiss citizen Francois Genoud" as the "middleman" in a meeting in Cologne in which former paratrooper Ramcke and Gen. Heinz Guderian told a French government adviser and a Swiss colonel of their opposition to the European Defense Community, a Cold War alliance in Western Europe. Ramcke and Guderian were well-known to Western officials.

Ramcke had been charged by the Greece with murder and pillage as the leader of the German troops who captured Crete in 1941; he also was charged by France with murder and wanton destruction of property as commander of the Second Parachute Division at Brest in July and August 1994. And Guderian had been chief of staff for the high command of the German army.

By 1955, Genoud had used his wartime contacts to become an adviser, researcher and banker to the cause of Arab nationalism. Along with Reichenberg in Tangiers and Cairo, Genoud set up AraboAfrika, an import-export company that served as a cover for the dissemination of anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli propaganda and the delivery of weapons to the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN). Genoud made investments for Hjalmar Schacht, the former Nazi Reichsminister of Finance, president of the Reichsbank and a key postwar intermediary between Germans and Arabs. Numerous former Third Reich officials gained refuge in the Arab world, including Eichmann's deputy, Alois Brunner, who for years was protected by Hafez el-Assad in Damascus.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, seeking to offset Soviet influence in the Middle East, helped bankroll the activities of Brunner and other former Nazis working in Egypt after the war, according to documentation by American journalist Christopher Simpson.

Also, in November 1956, William J. Porter of the U.S. Embassy in Rabat notified the State Department that "Mr. Francois Genoud, a Swiss national residing at Frankfurt/Main, Germany, and purporting to represent the Hjalmar Schacht interests, called at the Embassy this week to discuss . . . massive investments" in Morocco.

"The crux of the proposition made to the Moroccan Government by Mr. Genoud and his associates," says the once-classified document obtained by the Inquirer under the Freedom of Information Act, "involves the sale by the United States--through a long-term, low-interest loan--of 55 million dollars' worth of agricultural surpluses to the Schacht group, which would dispose of them in Western Europe and utilize the counterpart for investment in Morocco in the form of equipment and technicians." Genoud said the Moroccans were keenly interested in securing Schacht's collaboration, according to the document, "partly because of the esteem in which he is held in the Arab world generally, but also because the Moroccans tend 'to admire the philosophies for which he stands.'" Porter reported that the embassy did not encourage Genoud, and did not think the Schacht plan would benefit the United States.

More is to be learned about Genoud's contacts with the Americans. The State Department has yet to declassify 16 documents relating to Genoud; 29 other documents relating to his application for a visa or permit to enter the U.S. remain classified.

The Lufthansa Boeing 747 bound for Frankfurt was ready for takeoff in Bombay when the control tower received a bizarre message: "Call us the Victorious Jihad. If you call us Lufthansa, we won't answer you." It was the evening of Feb. 21, 1972, and Palestinian hijackers had taken the plane hostage. Among the 188 passengers was Joseph Kennedy, 19-year-old son of assassinated Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

The next day, a letter from Cologne demanded $5 million for the "Organization for the Victims of the Zionist Occupation." In perfect English, the letter gave Lufthansa explicit instructions: A man carrying a suitcase with the money should wear a black jacket and gray pants, disembark at the Beirut airport holding Newsweek magazine in his left hand and the suitcase in his right hand, and go to the parking lot. With the key sent in the envelope from Cologne, he was to open an old Volkswagen parked under a sycamore tree and read the instructions on the rear seat.

The jet flew to Yemen, where the crew and passengers were freed, including the young Kennedy. And $5 million in used bills went to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which has committed numerous international terrorist attacks since.

The operation was orchestrated by the Palestinian terrorist Wadi Haddad with the assistance of Francois Genoud, who drove overnight to Cologne with his wife carrying the letter with the ransom demand. After sending the letter to Lufthansa and to news agencies, Genoud and Elisabeth took off for vacation in the Belgian Ardennes. "The amount of money demanded of Lufthansa was very high," Genoud told French journalist Pierre Pean, revealing his role in the hijacking in a biography published this year in Paris. "Too low a number would have made us lose credibility. Too high a number might have made the operation fall through, especially considering how quickly the money had to be collected."

Probably the leading Genoud-watcher in the last three decades has been Le Monde's Buhrer, who lives in Lausanne. He believes Genoud told Pean about his role in the Lufthansa hijacking because a 20-year statute of limitations gave him immunity from prosecution. But in February, the Swiss attorney general summoned Genoud to Bern to explain his role in the hijacking and his revelation in Pean's book that he had been in contact with terrorist Carlos the Jackal since the early 1970s. "I think he killed himself partly because he saw he could have difficulties with Swiss justice for the first time in his life," says Buhrer.

As the hijacking dramatically demonstrated, Genoud's postwar intrigues increasingly were on behalf of anti-Israel forces in the Arab world.

Before the end of the 1950s, Genoud had set up Swiss bank accounts on behalf of the North African liberation armies of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. In 1958, in partnership with a Syrian--and with Hjalmar Schacht as an adviser--Genoud set up the Arab Commercial Bank in Geneva, to manage the war chest for the Algerian separatists. Schacht was quoted as saying National Socialism would conquer the world without having to wage another war. When Algerian independence was proclaimed in 1962, Genoud became director of the Arab Peoples' Bank in Algiers. He brought his highly placed friend Schacht with him. But two years later, Genoud was arrested in Algeria and charged with violating exchange control regulations in the transfer of $15 million of FLN money to a Swiss bank. The intercession of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser got Genoud out of Algeria without a trial, and he never went back. After a 15 year battle in Swiss courts, the money was returned to Algeria.

Beginning in the 1960s, Genoud helped finance numerous Arab terrorist causes, selling weapons and paying legal fees. In November 1969, he sat alongside the radical lawyer Jacques Verges as an adviser at the trial in Switzerland of three terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who had blown up an El Al plane in Zurich that February. Genoud's Arab Commerical Bank paid for the defense.

Two decades later, Genoud would team up with Verges again, this time as financier for the left-wing lawyer's defense of Barbie, the Gestapo chief known as the "Butcher of Lyon." In June 1987, Genoud ignored a summons to appear as a witness in the Lyon court trying Barbie for crimes against humanity. Barbie killed 4,000 non-Jewish French citizens and deported 7,000 Jews to death camps. He was convicted in 1987 and died in prison.

Genoud meanwhile, set up a fund to help Nazis in prison. "He even had baskets of chocolate sent in to people in jail," says American journalist Kevin Coogan, who met Genoud in 1986.

The French press increasingly was reporting links between Islamic fundamentalist groups and classic, far-right European anti-Jewish organizations. In August 1987, the International Herald Tribune reported from Paris that "Francois Genoud, pro-Nazi Swiss banker living in Lausanne, . . . who has been named several times in the French press as the trustee of the 'Nazi war chest,'" had been a contact of Wahid Gordji, an official in the Iranian embassy in Paris, who was implicated by a French court in bombing attacks that killed 13 persons in Paris in 1986. Those attacks allegedly were carried out by a pro-Iranian Islamic fundamentalist terrorist network. Gordji also had paid for the publication of a mail order catalog advertising neo-Nazi books, the newspaper reported.

In 1982, Genoud acknowledged to a Lausanne newspaper that he had writer David Irving, who has no formal academic training in history, but claimed that there were no gas chambers, the Hitler knew nothing about death camps, and that fewer than one million Jews died in the war. He once claimed that Anne Frank's diary was a fake. "David Irving was asked about Genoud," says Gerry Gable, editor of Searchlight, an international anti-fascist magazine based in London. "And Irving said, 'Oh, I've known Genoud for many years, we're very good friends. Ah, there's an interesting man--a banker for the movement.'" Irving and Genoud later had falling out, over translation rights to the Goebbels diaries. But Genoud's propaganda campaign survived him, and his pro-Nazi successors have gone high-tech, making Holocaust-denial and neo-Nazi literature widely available on the Internet.

"He was not a person who was hung up on whether one was left-wing or right-wing, just anyone who was against Israel," says American journalist Martin Lee, who accompanied Coogan in the 1986 interview of Genoud and vividly recalls the meeting in Lausanne.

"The guy was a fanatic," says Lee. "From the first moment that he appeared and extended his hand for a handshake, he reeked of fanaticism. He came forward and clicked his heels in a sort of a Nazi heel-clicking mode, extended his hand and announced very proudly, 'I am Francois Genoud.'"

Genoud had agreed to meet with Lee and Coogan on the condition that they neither tape him nor quote him in an article. The well-dressed Genoud drove Lee and Coogan to the Beau Rivage, a luxury hotel in Lausanne overlooking Lake Geneva, where they sat down for a drink and conversation. "Clearly Genoud commanded the respect of the people in the hotel," says Lee. "He snapped his fingers, and people came running. Clearly he was perceived by others as a man of influence." Genoud refused to discuss his work, but spoke excitedly for 90 minutes about his politics.

"Literally, his eyes moistened when he spoke of how great Hitler was . . . . Genoud insisted that Hitler was not an invader of Czechoslovakia, that he was welcomed in, cheered en masse. He was practically crying when he said that."

Lee maintains that Genoud "is a much more significant figure in the postwar neo-Nazi scene than Barbie. Genoud is more the behind-the-scenes wire-puller. He was not someone who lined people up and shot them to death, but he had dealings with those who did. Genoud was a living embodiment of the continued political maneuvering and influence by Third Reich activists and hard-core Nazis after World War II--activities that had measurable influence in world affairs, as evidenced by Arab terrorism and other political violence."

In their article, which appeared in the May 1987 issue of Mother Jones magazine, Lee and Coognar refrained from quoting Genoud directly. Still, it was the only examination of Genoud by an American publication during his lifetime. "If a Swiss banking investigation doesn't turn up an involvement on the part of Genoud, I would suspect that it is not a full-fledged, serious investigation," says Lee. "A no-holds-barred probe has to turn up Genoud."

As far back as 1963, a German language newspaper in Basel reported that "a Swiss citizen who lives in Lausanne" was managing the remnants of the Nazi treasury, most of which had been stolen from European Jews. Twenty-four years later, during the Barbie trial in June 1987, Guy Bermann, a lawyer representing civil plaintiffs, summarized methods used by the Germans to accumulate wartime treasure--such as extracting gold fillings of death camp victims--and identified Genoud as the postwar manager of that fortune.

In 1992 the Observer called Genoud "one of the world's leading Nazis," noting: "Security services claim he transferred the defeated Nazis' gold into Swiss bank accounts."

The first English language portrait of Genoud appeared in 1985 in Unhealed Wounds: France and the Klaus Barbie Affair, by Erna Paris, who drew upon the work of Buhrer.

"It's impossible to say whether he committed suicide because there was going to be an investigation," says Paris. "But I think the timing suggests that given his age and physical decline, and given his daughter's comment, he might have decided this might be a propitious moment for departing."

Gitta Sereny, who knew Genoud for 25 years and called him "the most mysterious man in Europe," believes his deteriorating health led him to commit suicide. "He was really not at all well," she says. "He certainly was not going to last very long, and it really was as simple as that. He did not choose to be ill for a long time. It's a human thing, it's nothing political."

But Genoud--who narrowly escaped injury in October 1993 when a bomb exploded in front of the door to his home--was aware that circles of inquiry were closing in on him. In addition to the banking probes, a Lausanne judge was reviewing a Swiss television documentary about him co-produced by the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, for possible violation of a new Swiss law on racial incitement.

"I don't absolutely believe that there was a planned attempt for a 'Final Solution,'" Genoud said the Pean book. "In my opinion, this is completely false. They [the Jews] were mobilized to work, but they were not systematically exterminated." Under the new law, the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities retained a Lausanne lawyer to sue Genoud for that statement and others. On May 28, the Lawyer began legal action, seeking a search warrant of Genoud's residence.

The warrant was not be carried out. Two days later, the Swiss boy who had shaken Hitler's hand--exited the same way as his beloved Fuehrer--on his own terms, never having strayed from the cause. Search for a (single) word:



3. German Press on Genoud


Deutsche Presse-Agentur; June 1, 1996, Saturday, BC Cycle
Swiss banker who once spied for Hitler commits suicide at 81
Pully, Switzerland

Francois Genoud, a Swiss banker who once worked as spy for Nazi Germany, has committed suicide at the age of 81, relatives announced Saturday.

Genoud died last Thursday after taking poison at his home in Pully near Lausanne. Known for his radical rightwing views, Genoud was active during World War II as a spy for dictator Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime. He was also executor of the wills of several former top Nazis.

Genoud maintained links to Palestinian terrorists, financed part of the defence counsel for top terrorist Carlos and visited him in prison. Carlos, the Venezuelan whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was arrested in Sudan in August 1994. [Jacques Verges was the lawyer]

Genoud's daughters said their father left no suicide note. He was said to have been suffering from depression since his wife died in 1991.

LOAD-DATE: June 1, 1996


JDS said...

The Devil's Advocate

April 25, 2004
(CBS) Even as fighting continues in Iraq, the United States is helping the Iraqis to prepare for the trial of Saddam Hussein.

No date has been set, but a few days ago, the Iraqi National Congress announced that a war crimes tribunal has been established to try Saddam.

But who would defend such a man? The answer is easy. Jacques Verges, an 80-year-old French lawyer, is known as "The Devil's Advocate," for his spirited defense of some of the worst monsters of our time.

Though he rarely wins his cases, he often succeeds in turning the tables, putting the accusers on trial, and putting them in the same boat as the bloodiest of defendants. Correspondent Morley Safer reports.
That certainly will be Verges’ tactic in defending Saddam Hussein: to attempt to indict the United States for its years of support of Saddam's Iraq. And to achieve that, he says that he will call such witnesses as U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Verges loves the role of troublemaker. Though it's unlikely any of his witnesses would ever appear, he will raise the issue of American support for Saddam for a decade, for shipments of anthrax, and Rumsfeld's goodwill missions to Iraq in 1983 and ‘84.

“This mass destructive weapons were sold to Iraqi government by the United States. And Mr. Rumsfeld has been one of the man responsible for this sale, for this bargain, for this market,” says Verges, who calls Rumsfeld a “traveling salesman” for toxins and poisons.

He’s also said that the United States may try to kill Saddam before a trial. “I have this fear,” says Verges. “I am not sure. If I express my fear, it’s precisely to avoid this.”

Verges accuses the United States of being judge, jury and executioner: “Of course, Mr. Bush has said Saddam Hussein is guilty. He just has to be killed. But Mr. George Bush is not a separate judge of humanity. He has no any power in the affairs of justice.”

When Saddam’s nephew approached Verges to act as one of Saddam’s attorneys, he did not hesitate. Saddam Hussein is his kind of client.

Did you see a problem in defending a man who has been accused by many of his own people of killing up to 300,000 people?

“ That is a number which surprise me. Well, I know that 500,000 children died in Iraq because of the embargo,” says Verges.

And that kind of counter-argument is classic Verges: shifting blame, in this case, to the U.N. embargo of Iraq. The standard Verges tactic is to accuse the accusers. And his client list is a catalogue of the mass murderers of the 20th Century, including Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief of the city of Lyons; Khieu Samphan, Pol Pot's accomplice in the murder of almost two million Cambodians; terrorist extraordinaire Carlos the Jackal; and Slobodan Milosevic.

In the annals of law, Verges is unique, and he’s been accused, for a good part of his professional life, of being known as “The Devil’s Advocate.”
“It is the job of the lawyer to defend his client. No problem about that, that's his job. But the problem of Verges is what he does outside the court,” says Bernard-Henri Levy, the latest in a long line of French philosopher- celebrity journalists.

Levy detests everything Verges stands for, and says if the trial ever happens, America can expect the worst: “This is what the American people must know because he's going now to plead in favor of Saddam Hussein. And he himself says that the real goal is plead against America, and American government.”

But to show American complicity in arming Saddam Hussein -- is that a legitimate purpose?

“First, it has to be proved, first and foremost. Second, it is not the same to deliver the weapons and to launch them and to kill hundreds of thousands of people. It is not the same thing,” says Levy.

“If he proves that Mr. Bush or Mr. Chirac bear a part of responsibility, I don't give a damn for that. But what I give a damn for is the victims. My battle in my own life is on the side in the favor of the victim. His battle is in the favor of the butcher, of the murder.”

Levy has spent years writing about crimes against humanity and the victims of those crimes. And there was a time, years ago, when Verges was on the same side.

Verges started out as a courageous young attorney, defending Algerians who'd been tortured into confessions by the French military. He also fought the Nazis in World War II as part of the Free French Army.

He was a champion of the left, but in 1983, he took the case that has defined him ever since: the defense of Nazi Gestapo Chief Klaus Barbie. Why did he decide to take the case?

"You know, I am against lynching and lynching is a tendency of the people,” says Verges. “And my pride, is when a lynching is in preparation, to stand between the so-called criminal and the lynchers."

The Barbie trial lasted two months. In Barbie's defense, Verges rubbed France's nose in its past, naming those who collaborated with the Germans, the pro-Nazi Vichy government. He maintained that Barbie was no worse than French soldiers who committed atrocities in France's colonial wars.

“He is a fascist. Because anti-democrat, anti-liberal, anti-Jew, and so on,” says Levy. “But he's a clever man. You can be a fascist and be a clever man.”

Verges reputation was based on defending people who regarded themselves as freedom fighters. Did he hate what Barbie represented? Is he able to hate even the worst of monsters?

“I am not able of hating. I am not able of hating,” says Verges. “I am curious to understand. I am – condemning. But I am not hating.”
”He probably believes in what he says. But the question is for us why does he defend monsters and only monsters,” says Robert Jegaden, who is co-author of the definitive biography of Jacques Verges.

“Why, Mr. Vergès, is he the official, the legal counsel of the monsters? This is a question,” says Jegaden, who says Verges was an idealist in his early years. “He lost his convictions. And now, you know, he wants to defend monsters. But the monsters do not ask him to come. He goes to them.”

In the case of Barbie, the monster lost, and was convicted on 341 counts…But winning the case was never the point for Verges. The point, he now says, was a history lesson – forcing the French to look into their past.

“This is better for the accused, and for the judges,” says Verges. “It is good for society to have this introspection.”

In a trial of Saddam Hussein, is Verges trying to put the United States on trial? “What I am criticizing is not United States. Is the actual leaders of United States,” says Verges.

And is Verges serving a positive purpose if he succeeds in calling witnesses that demonstrate American complicity?

“If he did only that, it would be a positive result. Of course. But if he takes advantage of this situation to insult the victims, to spit on the dead, to despise the survivor, then it will be a horrible work. A horrible, disgusting work,” says Levy. “I cannot say. But this is what he did with Milosevic. This is what he did with Barbie. This is what he did with Carlos the Jackal.”

It’s also what he will try to do with Saddam Hussein. Saddam is in U.S. custody, and so far, Verges has not been able to contact him.

The trial, when it happens, will be in an Iraqi court with Iraqi judges. But more than this ragged remnant of a man will be on trial.

For the United States, it will be about vindication for going to war. But for many Iraqis, it will be simply about revenge.

“I think it will be a sort of climax of his career. Because everything will be there,” says Levy. “Everything will be there. The hatred of America. Not Bush. Bush is not America, of America itself. And his hatred of democracy in general. All of this together will gather on the Saddam Hussein case.”

“You know, it's very interesting among a certain people in the American administration,” says Safer to Verges. “They will say, ‘Well, isn't it typical that it would be a Frenchman who defends Saddam Hussein … proof that the French are perfidious.”

“From this point of view, as a French -- I have no complex about this, of inferiority. And I try to have no complex of superiority,” says Verges, laughing.

There is still no date for a trial, but a fight has already begun among the lawyers. A Jordanian attorney, who says Saddam’s wife retained him, maintains that he, not Verges, is in charge of the defense.

Verges, hired by Saddam's nephew, dismisses the claim. The question of where the legal fees will come from remains a mystery, but it's said Saddam's net worth was in the billions.


JDS said...

Jacques Verges ‘willing’ to defend Tareq Aziz
Counsel of Iraq’s former deputy PM says French lawyer, group of Italian lawyers are ready to defend Aziz.

AMMAN - Controversial French lawyer Jacques Verges is ready to defend Iraq's former deputy premier Tareq Aziz, currently on trial on charges of executing 42 Baghdad businessmen in 1992, his lawyer said Wednesday.

"Jacques Verges has called me and expressed willingness to defend Tareq Aziz," defence counsel Badie Aref said in Amman.

Verges has defended some of the world's most notorious figures including Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and Venezuelan terrorist "Carlos the Jackal."

"Also a Lebanese-French attorney and a group of Italian lawyers have contacted me for the same reason. We are now trying to find a way to help the lawyers attend the trial," said Aref.

Aziz, 71, who surrendered to US troops in Iraq in April 2003, went on trial on Tuesday on charges of executing businessmen for hiking food prices when Iraq was under tight UN economic sanctions.

Prosecutors say the businessmen were arrested in Baghdad's wholesale markets and executed after a speedy trial in 1992.

They also charge that the former regime then seized their money and property.

Aziz could face the death penalty if convicted.

The judge adjourned the trial until May 20, after Aziz demanded a new lawyer, saying his counsel "Badie Aref was unable to attend due to security reasons."


JDS said...

Tuesday, 22 April 2008
French lawyer Jacques Verges represents ex-Khmer Rouge leader
French lawyer Jacques Verges, who once defended World War II criminal Klaus Barbie, has agreed to take up the case of past Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan in Cambodia.

Jacques Verges is reported to be joining Khieu Samphan when he makes an appeal against his pre-trial detention by the genocide tribunal that is supported by the United Nations.

The Khmer Rouge were responsible for over one million deaths in Cambodia in 1975-79. Many of these deaths took place in the "killing fields", where Cambodians were forced to work in horrific slave labour conditions.

Khieu Samphan, who was the Khmer Rouge head of state, has maintained his innocence and claims he was never involved in any of the atrocities the Khmer Rouge are said to have committed.

Jacques Verges is understood to have not made any comment on his involvement in this case.


JDS said...

Jacques Vergès (born March 5, 1925) is a French lawyer noted for defending unpopular figures, and a former Free French Forces guerrilla. AFP photo of Jacques Verges This work is copyrighted. ... March 5 is the 64th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (65th in leap years). ... Events January-May January 3 - Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy. ... The French Republic or France (French: République française or France) is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in western Europe, and which is further made up of a collection of overseas islands and territories located in other continents. ... A lawyer or attorney at law is a person licensed by the state to advise clients in legal matters and represent them in courts of law (and in other forms of dispute resolution). ... The Free French Forces (Forces Françaises Libres in French) were French fighters who decided to go on fighting against Germany after the Fall of France and German occupation and to fight against Vichy France in World War II. General Charles de Gaulle was a member of the French Cabinet in...

Throughout his career as an attorney, Vergès has primarily taken political cases, and his clients have included both left and right-wing terrorists, war criminals and militants. He defended the Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie (1987) (the Butcher of Lyon), Ilich Ramírez Sánchez a.k.a. Carlos the Jackal (1994), the Kelkal faction (1995), the Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy (1996) and Slobodan Milošević (2002). Terrorism is a controversial term with multiple definitions. ... A war crime is a punishable offense, under international law, for violations of the law of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. ... The word militant can refer to any individual engaged in warfare, a fight, combat, or generally serving as a soldier. ... Klaus Barbie Klaus Barbie (October 25, 1913–September 25, 1991) was a Hauptsturmführer in the German SS and the Gestapo (secret police) during the Nazi regime. ... Carlos with fiancée Isabelle Coutant-Peyre Ilich Ramírez Sánchez (born October 12, 1949) was a militant, mercenary, professional revolutionary, and playboy; he is better known by the nom de guerre Carlos the Jackal, which may have been given to him by the press after a copy of... Khaled Kelkal Khaled Kelkal (1971 - September 29, 1995) was an Algerian terrorist affiliated with the GIA. He was involved in several gunfights and was one of the men behind the islamist bombing campaign in France in 1995. ... Richard Harwoods Did Six Million Really Die? Holocaust denial is the claim that the mainstream historical version of the Holocaust is either highly exaggerated or completely falsified. ... Roger Garaudy is a French author and philosopher, and former communist who has converted to Islam. ... . Slobodan Milošević Slobodan Milošević listen (Serbian Cyrillic: Слободан Милошевић, pronounced ; born 20 August 1941) is a former President of Serbia and of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as well as leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia. ...

Born in Thailand and brought up on the Réunion island, he is the son of Raymond Vergès, a French diplomat, and a Vietnamese woman. He joined the Communist Party on Reunion and in 1942 he became part of the Free French Forces under Charles de Gaulle. After the war, while his brother Paul was imprisoned for murdering a political rival to their father, Jacques went to the Sorbonne to study law. In 1949 he became president of the AEC (Association for Colonial Students), where he met and befriended Pol Pot. In 1950 at the request of his Communist mentors he went to Prague to lead a youth organization for four years. The Kingdom of Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia, bordering Laos and Cambodia to the east, the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia to the south, and the Andaman Sea and Myanmar to the west. ... Réunion is an island, as well as an overseas département (département doutre-mer, or DOM) of France, located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. ... A Communist party is a party which promotes Communism. ... The Free French Forces (Forces Françaises Libres in French) were French fighters who decided to go on fighting against Germany after the Fall of France and German occupation and to fight against Vichy France in World War II. General Charles de Gaulle was a member of the French Cabinet in... Portrait of General Charles de Gaulle. ... The Sorbonne, Paris, in a 17th century engraving The Sorbonne today, from the same point of view The historic University of Paris (French: Université de Paris) first appeared in the second half of the 12th century, but was in 1970 reorganized as 13 autonomous universities (University of Paris I–XIII). ... Pol Pot Saloth Sar (May 19, 1925 - April 15, 1998), better known as Pol Pot, was the leader of the Khmer Rouge and the Prime Minister of Cambodia (officially Democratic Kampuchea during his rule) from 1976 to 1979. ... Prague (Praha in Czech) is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. ...

Returning to France he became an attorney and took controversial cases. During the struggle in Algiers he defended many accused of what the French government considered to be terrorism. He was a supporter of the Algerian armed independence struggle against France, comparing it to French armed resistance to the Nazi German occupation in the 1940s. He also left the French Communist Party following their political move towards the Fourth Republic. For other uses, see Algiers (disambiguation). ... The French Communist Party (Parti communiste français or PCF) was founded in 1920. ... The Fourth Republic existed in France between 1946 and 1958. ...

Vergès became a nationally-known figure following his defense of suspected anti-French Algerian guerrilla Djamila Bouhired on terrorism charges (she was accused of blowing up a café, a civilian target). She was condemned to death but pardoned and freed following public pressure and married Vergès. Vergès himself was sentenced to sixty days in 1960 and lost his license to officially practice law for "anti-state activities".

Just out of prison he used his publicity tactics to defend the Jeanson network. It was during a ferocious cross examination that Paul Teitgen, commander of the Algerian police, publicly admitted to the use of torture.

After working on Algeria, Vergès moved onto Israel - he saw Israel as a base for neo-imperialism in the Middle East and when the wave of PFLP civilian hijackings started in 1968 Vergès often appeared in court to defend them. Then from 1970-78 he disappeared from public view without explanation. He returned with the same anti-France and anti-Israel agenda as before, defending any militants with a political cause, almost all of whom were found guilty. As well as attacking governments, in 1999 Vergès sued Amnesty International on behalf of the government of Togo. The State of Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, transliteration: ; Arabic: دَوْلَةْ اِسْرَائِيل, transliteration: ) is a country in the Middle East on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. ... The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) (Arabic Al-Jabhah al-Shabiyyah Li-Tahrir Filastin الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين) is a secular, Marxist-Leninist, nationalist Palestinian organization, founded after the Six-Day War in 1967. ... See also Airport security D. B. Cooper Categories: Pages needing attention | Law stubs | Terrorism ... Amnesty International (or AI) is an international non-governmental organization whose stated purpose is to promote all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards. ... The Togolese Republic is a country in West Africa, bordering Ghana in the west, Benin in the east and Burkina Faso in the north. ...

Recently, after the US-led occupation forces invaded Iraq (March 2003), Vergès was asked to represent Tareq Aziz in court. On December 13, 2003, the United States arrested Saddam Hussein (Iraq's President since 1979). Jacques Vergès also offered to defend Saddam if he was asked to. "If I have to choose between defending the wolf or the dog, I choose the wolf, especially when he is bleeding". As of March 27, 2004, Mr Vergès has been confirmed to defend Hussein. His tactic will apparently be to accuse US government officials such as Donald Rumsfeld, of complicity in Saddam's alleged crimes. The governments of the US, France and Britain sold Saddam Hussein conventional, and illegal biological and chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein in the 1980s to support Saddam's war against Iran. Chemical weapons were also used on thousands of Kurdish civilians at Halabja. Tareq Aziz (born 4 September 1983) is a Bangladeshi cricketer. ... Saddam Hussein Saddām Hussein ʻAbd al-Majīd al-Tikrītī (Often spelled Husayn or Hussain; Arabic صدام حسين عبدالمجيد التكريتي; born April 28, 1937 1) was President of Iraq from 1979 to 2003. ... Donald Rumsfeld Donald Henry Rumsfeld (born July 9, 1932) is the current Secretary of Defense of the United States, since January 20, 2001, under President George W. Bush. ... Halabja is a town in Iraq, located about 150 miles northeast of Baghdad and 8-10 miles from the Iranian border. ...

Because of his tendency to represent some of the most infamous defendants, Vergès is sometimes referred to as "The Devil's Advocate." In the old process of canonization by the Roman Catholic Church, the Promoter of the Faith (Latin Promotor Fidei), or Devils Advocate ( Latin advocatus diaboli), was a canon lawyer appointed by the Church to argue against the canonization of the proposed candidate. ...

Categories: 1925 births | French lawyers