Russian Experts: "Anti-Iraq Coalition" Servicemen Can Be Held Responsible

The military action in Iraq and its humanitarian effects can be the grounds for holding servicemen of the "anti-Iraqi coalition" responsible within the framework of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Tribunal, a RIA Novosti correspondent quotes Russian experts in international law as saying on Tuesday.

The refusal of an Australian military pilot to participate in the bombing of Baghdad may be not the only case, they believe.

They explain this refusal by both moral and ethic considerations, as well as by the fear to face the International Criminal Tribunal, whose jurisdiction Australia recognises.

The jurisdiction of the International Criminal Tribunal, whose first session was recently held in Rome, is recognised by countries participating in the war against Iraq, with the exception of the United States, experts say.

On Monday, the Australian television company ABC reported that an Australian pilot of the ship-borne fighter-bomber F/A-18 Hornet had refused to bomb Iraq. Getting in-flight target designation, the pilot refused to fulfil the order since he was not sure of the expediency of a missile-bomb attack.

In this connection, New Zealand's newspaper The New Zealand Herald writes that Australian servicemen are following stricter rules than their American counterparts because Canberra has ratified a larger number of international agreements than Washington.

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