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Former Israel PM calls for genocide incitement trial of Iran president

[JURIST] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official profile; BBC profile] should be brought to trial for inciting genocide against Christians and Jews during remarks he made last month, former Israeli prime minister and current opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu [official website] said on Sunday. Ahmadinejad said at a two-day conference in Tehran [BBC report] in December that Israel's days were numbered, repeating previous calls for violence against the Jewish state. At a Palestinian conference last April, he said Israel “is heading toward annihilation”, dismissed the Holocaust as a "myth", and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" [Guardian report], a statement which immediately drew international condemnation. Reuters has more.

In December, then-US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton [official profile] called for international criminal charges to be brought against Ahmadinejad [JURIST report] for the same reasons. Bolton, who was joined by former Israeli UN Ambassador Dore Gold [JCPA profile] and former Canadian Justice Minister and Attorney General Irwin Cotler [official profile], said that Ahmadinejad's remarks violated the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide [text], which prohibits "direct and public incitement to commit genocide." Last spring, the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs reported that it was preparing a document [JURIST report] recommending a lawsuit against Ahmadinejad for his remarks. Israeli lawyer Eran Shahar, representing the civil rights group Civil Coalition, filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against Ahmadinejad in Germany last February on charges of incitement and denying the existence of the World War II Holocaust.

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