Local War Crimes Expert Speaks Out On Syria - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Local War Crimes Expert Speaks Out On Syria

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  A local expert on international war crimes is speaking out on the controversy in Syria, after hundreds of its citizens were killed in a chemical attack.

  Some 14-hundred Syrian residents died from a chemical attack.  Syria now says it would agree to place it's chemical weapons under international control. President Obama says it's a deal that could halt possible military action.

Reporter: "If this latest deal comes to fruition, is it still possible to prosecute Syrian President Assad for war crimes and remove him from power?"

Gregory Gordon, UND Law Professor: "I think as a matter of law Assad could be prosecuted for war crimes. But, as a political matter it may not be so easy."

  Gordon has worked for the U.S. Justice Department prosecuting international war crimes. He says prosecuting Syrian President, Assad may be possible, but it will take some time.

Gregory Gordon: "I don't think a prosecution in the immediate future is in the cards."

    Gordon says a political deal needs to be worked out first to make sure there are no more victims of a possible chemical attack. Then, it will be up to the world community to prosecute this crime.

Gregory Gordon: "Probably the most realistic way it could happen is through an ad-hoc, international criminal tribunal that would have to be setup by the international community. Again, you would probably face resistance from Russia and China, but possibly with enough countries supporting it, it could happen."

  Professor Gordon is also Director of UND's Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies.

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