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A. A. Z. et al. v. Tommy Franks et al.

This case summary is being revised and will be updated soon

Court Cour de Cassation, Section Francaise, 2e Chambre / Court of Cassation, Belgium
Case number JC041E2_2
Decision title Décision
Decision date 14 January 2004
  • A. A. Z.
  • A. A.-S. I.
  • A.-A.R. M.
  • A.-K. A., Y., A., A. R.
  • A.T.
  • A.R. A.
  • A.N., K., M.
  • B. S., A.
  • B. S. T.
  • G. O., S.
  • H. S.
  • J. A.
  • K. J. K.
  • L. A.
  • M. W. A.
  • R.I. M.
  • S. M., A.
  • S. F.
  • T. D. (M. T.) A.
  • General Tommy Franks (F. T.)
  • Colonel Bryan P. McCoy (M. C.B. P.)
  • X.
Categories War crimes
Keywords jurisdiction (universal), law of armed conflict
Other countries involved
  • United States
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Procedural history

On 14 May 2003, 17 Iraqis and two Jordanians filed an official complaint against Tommy Franks, Commander-in-Chief of the American and British troops in Iraq. They accused the American General and a certain number of unidentified military personnel of grave breaches of international humanitarian law, pursuant to the Belgian 1993 universal jurisdiction law.

Tommy Franks and others were accused of indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas, aggressions against members of the press, use of cluster bombs on inhabited areas, attacks against medical staff and infrastructures and pillage.

On 21 May 2003, the Belgian Ministry of Justice decided to send the case to the American authorities, according to the newly amended 1993 universal jurisdiction law. On 29 July 2003, this law was further modified and, on 23 September 2003, the Court of Appeal in Brussels confirmed the transferal of the case. On 14 January 2004, the Belgian proceedings were brought to a close by the last resort decision of the Cour de cassation (the highest jurisdiction of the Belgian judicial order).

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Related developments

No legal proceedings have since been initiated against Tommy Franks in the United States.

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Additional materials

Belgium: government seeks to block war crimes case against US General Tommy Franks, The Guardian, 20 May 2003.