He (Arafat) has already been officially indicted in Belgium under that country's universal jurisdiction law, the same law under which Sharon was indicted. A court decision earlier this year however ruled that Sharon, and by extension, other accused leaders, were beyond the reach of Belgian law.
As well, the International Court of Justice (not to be confused with the newly created International Criminal Court) ruled on February 14, 2002, that Belgium would not be permitted to prosecute a foreign government minister for war crimes because representatives of foreign governments are entitled to diplomatic immunity. This ruling also obviously applies to other countries besides Belgium. The case involved a Congolese foreign minister accused of genocidal actions against Tutsis.
It seems that, despite overwhelming evidence against people like Arafat and other world leaders, they cannot be tried while still in power.
It also appears that the threat of prosecution of world leaders for crimes against humanity and war crimes ONCE THEY LEAVE POWER has not served as much of a deterrent.
Should Arafat be tried? Maybe, in an ideal world, no leader - Arafat, Bush, Kabila, Sharon, the Burmese generals, Blair, the EU president, etc. - should be beyond the reach of the law while still in power. Under our current international legal system, they are.
[ September 05, 2002: Message edited by: Mimichekele ]