French lawyers to file lawsuit against Sarkozy over bombing in Libya
Former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas and another French lawyer said Sunday they were planning to file a lawsuit against French President Nicolas Sarkozy for crimes against humanity in Libya, Xinhua reported.
Dumas and Jacques Verges had offered to represent victims of the NATO bombings in Libya to begin legal proceedings against Sarkozy in the French courts.
"This is brutal, brutal aggression against a sovereign country," Dumas told a press conference attended by 30 representatives of the victims' families in Tripoli.
He said he was ready to defend Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi should the latter be sent to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Verges, for his part, said "we are going to break the wall of silence."
The French lawyers were paying a two-day visit to Libya to meet bombing victims and their families to collect firsthand materials about the legal charges.
Despite Western denial of civilian casualties caused by the two-month-old bombings, Dumas said he had seen several civilian victims at a hospital and had been told by one of its doctors that there were as many as 20,000 victims.
"At the moment we have been retained, we have a mandate on behalf of the victims of the military bombardment of NATO, who carried out their military action against civilians with the artificial -- very artificial -- cover of the United Nations," Dumas said.
The two lawyers said they would begin legal proceedings against Sarkozy as soon as they return to France Monday.
The world's major powers, Britain, the United States and France, started on March 19 strikes from the air and the sea against the Gaddafi forces.