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Iraq War Lawsuit Targets Danish PM
Father of dead soldier joins the suit claiming Iraq participation was 'unconstitutional'
Jesper Westi-Henriksen (ops84)     Print Article 
Published 2005-10-20 15:34 (KST)   
A lawsuit against Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen over the nation going to war with Iraq -- in which the father of a dead soldier has now joined -- has attracted significant public interest, legal experts say.

The plaintiffs, a group of Danes, are arguing in the High Court that the Danish government's decision to go to war in Iraq was unconstitutional. The plaintiffs claim the government violated Article 19 of the Danish Constitution, which authorizes the state only to engage in an act of war to defend itself against a foreign aggressor, or when there is a United Nations mandate.

"Denmark had not been attacked in 2003 and none of its NATO allies had been either," said Bj첩rn Elmquist, one of the two lawyers on the case.

The plaintiffs include lawyers, professors, doctors, union leaders and politicians, and a man who traveled to Iraq as a so-called "bomb shield" back before the invasion was launched.

Denmark is represented in Iraq with more than 500 soldiers who work under British command.

A poll published in August showed that 47.9 percent of Danes want Denmark to pull out of Iraq, while 38.6 percent were in favor of remaining.

Several lawyers believed the High Court would dismiss the case due to the plaintiff's lack of legal interest.

The legal interest is now added due to the involvement of a father whose 21-year-old son was killed in Iraq a month ago by a roadside bomb. He had only been in Iraq for about one month when he was killed.

This significant development was reported by the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet under the headline "Killed soldier's father in war against Fogh."

"I have spoken with a member of the committee -- I called them myself -- and told them that if I can help in any way, I am available," the father told Ekstra Bladet.
©2005 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Jesper Westi-Henriksen

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