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Change in War Crimes Law Halts Some Suits

The World | IN BRIEF / BELGIUM

April 06, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

The Belgian Senate approved a measure to gut a war crimes law, bringing an end to lawsuits filed against former President Bush, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

In a 36-22 vote with five abstentions, the Senate approved an amendment to invalidate the cases. The House of Representatives had already done so.

The law, adopted in 1993, sought to prosecute war crimes and genocide wherever they occurred. But lawmakers said it was never intended for use against democratic countries.

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