NYT: Bin Laden Sons Say US Broke International Law - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NYT: Bin Laden Sons Say US Broke International Law

MSNBC.COM -The adult sons of Osama bin Laden have lashed out at President Obama in their first public reaction to their father's death, accusing the United States of violating its basic legal principles by killing an unarmed man, shooting his family members and disposing of his body in the sea.

The statement, provided to The New York Times on Tuesday, said the family was asking why Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, "was not arrested and tried in a court of law so that truth is revealed to the people of the world."

Citing the trials of Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi leader, and Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader, the statement questioned "the propriety of such assassination where not only international law has been blatantly violated," but the principles of presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial were ignored.

"We maintain that arbitrary killing is not a solution to political problems," the statement said, adding that "justice must be seen to be done."

The statement, prepared at the direction of Omar bin Laden, who had publicly denounced his father's terrorism, was provided to The Times by Jean Sasson, an American author who helped the younger Mr. Bin Laden write a 2009 memoir, "Growing Up bin Laden." A shorter, slightly different statement was posted on jihadist Web sites.

Omar bin Laden, 30, lived with his father in Afghanistan until 1999, when he left with his mother, Najwa bin Laden, who co-wrote the memoir. In the book and other public statements, the younger Bin Laden had denounced violence of all kinds, a stance he repeated in the sons' statement.

"We want to remind the world that Omar bin Laden, the fourth-born son of our father, always disagreed with our father regarding any violence and always sent messages to our father, that he must change his ways and that no civilians should be attacked under any circumstances," the statement said. "Despite the difficulty of publicly disagreeing with our father, he never hesitated to condemn any violent attacks made by anyone, and expressed sorrow for the victims of any and all attacks."

Condemning the shooting of one of the Qaeda leader's wives during the assault on May 2 in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the statement added: "As he condemned our father, we now condemn the president of the United States for ordering the execution of unarmed men and women."

In explaining the killing of Bin Laden, Obama administration officials have cited the principle of national self-defense in international law, noting that Bin Laden had declared war on the United States, killed thousands of Americans and vowed to kill more.

The sons' statement called on the government of Pakistan to hand over to family members the three wives and a number of children now believed to be in Pakistani custody and asked for a United Nations investigation of the circumstances of their father's death.

None of Osama bin Laden's sons other than Omar, who lives in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, was named in the statement; Ms. Sasson said she believed it was approved by three other adult sons who have not lived with their father for many years. Before Osama bin Laden fled Afghanistan in 2001, he had at least 11 sons, one of whom was killed in the assault last week, and nine daughters, by Ms. Sasson's count. >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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