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Belgium issues international arrest warrant for former Chad leader

[JURIST] Belgium has issued an international arrest warrant for Hissene Habre [Wikipedia profile], the former leader of Chad [CIA backgrounder], lawyers said Thursday. Habre, rumored to be in exile in Senegal, is wanted for crimes against humanity that were allegedly committed during his 1982-90 rule of the African country. Under current Belgium law, prosecution for such crimes is allowed to proceed regardless of where the crimes were committed or where the defendant resides. Belgium watered down its universal jurisdiction [Wikipedia backgrounder] laws in 2003 under pressure from the United States after individuals brought complaints against President Bush and other senior officials. Universal jurisdiction principles have also been invoked by Belgium prosecutors to convict two Rwandan men [JURIST report] accused of war crimes committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. AP has more.

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